Consumer Reports wants to clarify its role in the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign, as well as its recent work with health plans.
Choosing Wisely was conceived by ABIM Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advances professionalism in medicine, as an initiative to encourage conversations between patients and physicians about what tests, treatments, and procedures to question or avoid—and better ensure that patients get the right care.
Consumer Reports teamed up with ABIM Foundation to develop and disseminate medical patient-education resources—including educational videos and literature. All of the educational materials were created by Consumer Reports and physicians through partnerships with national medical specialty societies. Consumer Reports shares ABIM Foundation’s belief that these resources will help inform and empower consumers and ultimately allow them to make smarter choices about their health care.
In an effort to reach diverse populations of consumers at the point of their health decision-making, Consumer Reports has a content licensing program to distribute its Choosing Wisely resources (at no cost) to businesses that agree to support Consumer Reports’ patient-education goals. All of those businesses are prohibited from using the Consumer Reports name for their own commercial benefit; they pledge to honor the intention of Choosing Wisely as a physician-led campaign.
Recent media accounts have suggested that a health plan partnered with Consumer Reports and the Choosing Wisely campaign. In fact, Consumer Reports does not partner with health plans, but does provide them with a license that allows them to distribute Choosing Wisely materials as part of patient education efforts. Consumer Reports is a fiercely independent nonprofit that seeks to educate and empower consumers. None of the health plans that distribute Choosing Wisely content are partners with Consumer Reports or the ABIM Foundation.
Ultimately, Choosing Wisely empowers physicians and patients to engage in informed conversations so that patients can get the right care at the right time. Choosing Wisely recommendations are not to be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Consumer Reports would never work with an organization that used them in that manner.