Health care

O’Neill and Associates has served as a trusted partner to a wide range of healthcare clients including providers, health plans, hospitals, technology companies, medical device makers and nonprofit organizations. Below you will find just a few of the case studies that we are proud to share from our health care work. Visit our federal relations, state and local government relations, public relations and crisis communications pages to see how we can help you.

Benchmark Assisted Living 

Benchmark needed to gain additional exposure with business leaders outside of the assisted living industry and to maintain its excellent reputation in an industry at times marred by controversy. O’Neill and Associated developed a communications plan for Benchmark that included media briefings with leading New England reporters, press material development and news story pitching ideas, including capitalization on the many award opportunities presented to Benchmark. O’Neill and Associates announced each of Benchmark’s deals individually and afterwards pitched the cumulative story of Benchmark’s major financial dealings and the impact that they had on the size and capability of the company. O’Neill and Associates’ successes on behalf of Benchmark included solid business brief coverage of individual deals throughout New England and the markets where the communities were sold; a page three article by the Boston Business Journal; a feature as one of the fastest-growing private companies by the Boston Business Journal; an executive profile of CEO Tom Grape in the Boston Business Journal highlighting the success he has had in building the company from a startup to the largest assisted living provider in New England; a front-page story in The Boston Globe’s real estate section with large photographs of Grape interacting with residents; trade coverage of Benchmark’s two financial deals and positive coverage in regional and local papers where Benchmark was acquiring properties.

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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 

O’Neill and Associates developed a comprehensive communications plan to position Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) and to position CEO Charlie Baker as a thought leader in the health care industry of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. O’Neill and Associates analyzed trends in health care and recommended that HPHC conduct a survey of health care decision makers at 200 area employers to ascertain their feelings on premium increases as well as the rising cost of health care. The key findings and other survey results provided the platform for Charlie Baker to address the issue with business leaders and gave HPHC the necessary news hook to gain the attention of reporters across the region. The message was clear: health care costs are rising, and without change on the parts of employers, employees and health plans the future will be bleak. O’Neill and Associates crafted a message that addressed the rising costs of health care and provided real action to change the downward spiral; this included information concerning the important role employees have to take in lowering health care costs through informed use of their health plan. O’Neill and Associates facilitated a keynote address by Charlie Baker to the membership of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as well as other speaking engagements throughout Boston’s South Shore, North Shore and the city of Worcester. The campaign was covered by more than 20 news outlets, including the business pages and columns of the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Patriot Ledger, Worcester Business Journal and the Boston Business Journal and on broadcast outlets including NECN, WBZ, WBIX, WRKO, the Jordan Levy Show, and WINC Worcester.

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Health Dialog 

A few years ago, Health Dialog, a care management service firm, was invited by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to join the Medicare Health Support (MHS) pilot program. Although CMS determined Phase I of the MHS pilot program had met the stated goals of achieving physician participation and patient satisfaction, it concluded the financial cost savings benchmarks had not been reached. Despite the MHS organization’s protests, CMS chose not to move forward with Phase II of the MHS program. O’Neill and Associates developed and implemented a federal government relations strategy that raised awareness of the imperfect nature of the pilot and sought a retooling of the program, successfully advancing these issues to a national arena. O’Neill and Associates’ team educated members of Congress on the benefits of care management in fee for service Medicare and the need to provide an opportunity for companies like Health Dialog to demonstrate its effectiveness in an appropriately controlled environment. Disease management has been revisited in general terms in the final health care legislation signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

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Tufts Health Plan 

As the third-largest health insurer in Massachusetts, Tufts Health Plan needed proactive federal representation to successfully navigate the rapidly changing health care policy environment. Tufts Health Plan retained O’Neill and Associates to provide federal relations services on issues relating to Medicare and Medicare Plus Choice, patient rights, privacy issues, HIPAA, electronic commerce, prescription drug coverage and electronic medical records initiatives. As Tufts Health Plan’s federal legislative liaison with U.S. House and Senate committees and members  of Congress, O’Neill and Associates has enabled Tufts Health Plan to stay fully current on the annual funding issues involving Plus Choice and physician reimbursement levels that affect Tufts Health Plan’s agreements with physician groups and health care providers and on legislation, as introduced, that may significantly impact Tufts Health Plan’s operations, such as electronic medical records initiatives.

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Tufts Medical Center 

Tufts Medical Center, a world-class academic facility and a principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted its 9th annual Working Wonders event on February 27, 2012 at the TD Garden. This year’s Working Wonders event was the first signature event for Tufts Medical Center’s new CEO Eric Beyer. It honored former Tufts Medical Center CEO Ellen Zane and Cam Neely, former Bruins player and founder of The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. Tufts Medical Center looked to O’Neill and Associates to elevate the profile of the event and increase awareness of it in order to drive attendance and build support. As a result of this comprehensive communications campaign, the Working Wonders Gala was an unparalleled success, with nearly a thousand people in attendance. O’Neill and Associates was also able to secure Tiffani Faison as the event’s celebrity chef and WCVB-TV sportscaster Mike Lynch as master of ceremonies for the night. The evening raised $1.1 million for Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children. Media placements included multiple features in the following media outlets: The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald,, NESN, WCVB-TV Channel 5, and Wicked Local North Attleborough.

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O’Neill and Associates has government relations for health care clients including providers, health plans, hospitals, technology companies, medical device makers and nonprofit organizations. healthcare company needs federal relations, state and local government relations, public relations and crisis communications pages to see how we can help you.