Tackling the high cost of health care (with Tedy Bruschi)

Tedy Bruschi knows a few things about tackling. Now he's hoping to help Shields MRI tackle the high cost of health care.

If there were any doubt that the health care cost battle is being taken to the public, just watch the 30-second TV spot currently running from Shields Health Care Group featuring their pitchman Bruschi, the former and much beloved New England Patriots linebacker.

It's a well-written and very direct ad that touches on some critical points in the health care cost debate.

I'm Tedy Bruschi. Tackling a professional football player is not easy.  But tackling the high cost of health care, now that's easy.
Just go where I go — Shields MRI. 
The Shields family gives you a quality MRI at a sensible price. In fact, they could save you up to $1,000 or more. 
So get out there and take on those high medical costs. It's easier than taking on a really big fullback. Trust me."

A key phrase is "sensible price" followed by a very specific dollar figure — "up to $1,000 or more" — almost like a Geico ad.

In fact, Shields backs it up on its website with a chart comparing its cost for an MRI ($563) to the state average ($693) as well as the average for an MRI at community hospitals ($743) and teaching hospitals ($1,153). The page has a link to an MRI cost savings calculator and tips about how to "talk cost with the doctor."

Of course Bruschi has the last word in the ad:

"Why overpay for an MRI? Choose to go where I go — Shields MRI."

It would be great to see how Shields measures the ad and whether people do really exercise choice in selecting high-cost services, such as imaging. 

As patients become more cost-conscious consumers, especially as more people are enrolled in plans with high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, these direct-to-consumer pitches will surely resonate.