WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons is launching a major public education campaign to state its case on medical liability reform, and has selected GCI Group to handle the public relations component.
The campaign comes at a time when, according to AAOS, “18 U.S. states are in a severe liability crisis [but] the general public has remained largely ambivalent about the issue. Escalating jury awards and litigation costs have caused liability insurance premiums to skyrocket in recent years, forcing trauma centers, rural health clinics and emergency departments to close their doors. In many states, orthopaedic surgeons and other specialists are dropping the high-risk portions of their practices, retiring early, moving their practices to a neighboring state or closing up shop altogether.”
AAOS believes trial lawyers have dominated the press coverage of the issue “by portraying physicians as rich, greedy and uncaring, and by emphasizing the dangers patients face at their hands. The anti-reform lobby also is adept at humanizing its message—saturating the airwaves with heart-wrenching, often indefensible ‘medical horror stories’ shared by highly sympathetic patients/victims.”
The AAOS campaign will empower state societies, individual members and the patients they serve to advocate for and drive meaningful, constitutionally sustainable medical liability reform in their states.
GCI will be part of a time that includes sister company Grey Global Atlanta, which specializes in marketing communications firm, and Washington D.C.-based Grassroots Enterprise, headed by former White House press secretary Mike McCurry, which combines online technology and communications strategy to achieve public affairs objectives.