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Cartoons for Health Care Professionals

by Clive Riddle, April 15, 2011

As a child I recall looking forward to Saturday mornings, filling a bowl full of cereal and sugar before my parents were awake, and plopping down in front of the television to view an endless parade of my favorite cartoon characters.

Now, anyone involved in the business of health care can sort of re-experience this feeling (bowl of cereal and sugar optional) by consulting YouTube and browsing through an increasing stream of short animated features created to for the professional.

Of course you’ll have to wade through an even larger river of health care animation created by the masses to comment on health care reform, politics and hospital visits. But here are some recent mainstream efforts at delivering health care business information in a new format, often with a dose of humor:

Milliman calls the stars of their animated features “Droids” and offers three items so far in their Healthcare Town Hall:

  • Droids discuss health insurance rate setting process
  • Droids discuss cost shifting
  • Droids discuss individual mandate

Jeremy Engdahl at Milliman says they’ve “been exploring how animation can help educate people on misunderstood components of the health system in general and health care reform in particular.” He notes the videos have been peer reviewed by actuaries and are backed by published Milliman research.

Kaiser Family Foundation recently released Health Reform Hits Main Street which comes with the following description: “Confused about how the new health reform law really works? This short, animated movie -- featuring the ‘YouToons’ -- explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in 2014. Written and produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Narrated by Cokie Roberts, a news commentator for ABC News and NPR and a member of Kaiser's Board of Trustees.”

Accountable Care Organizations have perhaps been the topic of the greatest number of health care business animations. Leading the pack in viewership, with 77,000+ views,  is a piece by CenturaHealth entitled In Search of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) which the hospital organization describes as: “Clueless health care executive tries to learn about accountable care organizations in the age of health care reform.”

The Disease Management Care Blog has a YouTube Channel featuring several animated pieces including “Setting Up An Accountable Care Organization” and “Disease management saves money.”

Alan Genicoff, MD JD who offers a Law Doc blog has a YouTube Channel which includes the “healthcare fraud cartoon parody: The Medicare RAC audit” in which we’re told to “watch Dr Abel squirm as the Medicare RAC auditor takes him to task about possible overbilling of Medicare.”

And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that MCOL has entered the fray, and features a number of animated pieces in it YouTube Channel: MCOLdotcom.

Now, does anyone remember the words to the theme song from Scooby Doo or the Banana Splits?

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