Patients and Clinicians: Fancy Yourself a Health Care Writer?

Brian’s Note: Neel Shah is a physician resident at Harvard and the Executive Director of Costs of Care, a not-for-profit devoted to highlighting more efficient ways to deliver care. CofC is running a writing contest for clinicians and patients – see below – with cash prizes and a board of judges comprised of health care luminaries. 

Looks like something fun to participate in. I’d urge you to give it a shot.

September 6, 2011


Spokesperson: Neel Shah, MD (Executive Director)


Phone: 617-841-8581


Neel Shah, MD

Costs of Care is officially launching its second annual healthcare essay contest today, with the goal of expanding the national discourse on the role of doctors, nurses, and other care providers in controlling healthcare costs.

The contest will solicit stories from care providers and patients across the nation that illustrate everyday opportunities to curb unnecessary and even harmful health care spending on a grassroots level.

Costs of Care will award $4000 in prizes to top submissions. Two $1000 prizes will be reserved for patients, and two $1000 prizes will be reserved for care providers. Preference will be given to stories that best demonstrate the importance of cost-awareness in medicine. Examples may include a time a patient tried to find out what a test or treatment would cost but was unable to do so, a time that caring for a patient generated an unexpectedly a high medical bill, or a time a patient and care provider figured out a way to save money while still delivering high-value care.

To help select the winning entries, Costs of Care has assembled an expert panel of judges:

  • Peter Orzsag, former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget
  • Dr. C. Everett Koop, former United States Surgeon General
  • Hon. Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan
  • Dr. Susan Love, women’s health and cancer research advocate
  • Dr. Alan Garber, health economist and Harvard University Provost

Anyone looking to learn more about the successful entries from last year’s contest can find our more at

All submissions will be due on November 15th, 2011. Finalists will be announced on December 15th, 2011 and the $1,000 prize winners will be announced on January 15th, 2012. All qualifying submissions will be published biweekly at during the 2012 calendar year, and will be made available to the media.

The contest is sponsored in part by through the generosity of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan.

About Costs of Care

Costs of Care is a nonprofit organization that gives patients and healthcare workers the information they need to deflate medical bills, while expanding the national discourse on the role of care providers in responsible resource stewardship. Costs of Care was founded by a resident physician based at Harvard Medical School who noticed that even the best physicians sometimes overlook something critical—the bill.

Full contest details are available at

Please direct all contest-related inquiries to


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s