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[December 04, 2012]
Crosby Marketing gets shot a $150M in federal contracts [Capital (Annapolis, MD)]
(Capital (Annapolis, MD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) An Annapolis marketing company is one of six firms chosen to bid on $150 million worth of federal contracts to promote health care innovation including the use of mobile apps, patient safety and preventative medicine.
Crosby Marketing Communications was selected last month by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to compete for contract work over the next five years. Although no contracts have been awarded yet, Crosby is positioned to develop communication, outreach programs and materials and "digital tools" for the government.
As part of AHRQ's Knowledge Transfer program, Crosby will be bidding on contracts that promote health information technology, measures medical providers' quality of care and advances best practices for physicians and hospitals.
Crosby isn't guaranteed any contract but it's partners include WebMD and the National Area Health Education Centers Organization. Crosby CEO Raymond Crosby said AHRQ's contracts could include the development of mobile apps, specialized websites, webinars and all forms of electronic media that engage and educate users.
He said the government wants to inform the public and medical community about the latest health care advancements. It also wants interactive media that enables users to share information such as the best treatment methods or cost-saving strategies.
"The key element to this is knowledge transfer," Crosby said. "For this to be successful it has to be a two-way street. The people you're sending information out to have to be able to respond." Crosby said AHRQ is looking for a high engagement and response level to create ongoing dialogue between the government, health care providers and the public. AHRQ spokesman Howard Holland said bids are expected to begin in January.
Holland said Crosby's list of potential partners shows the Annapolis firm has the capacity to deliver the health care projects AHRQ needs to educate and engage the public. While Crosby can partner with larger companies such as WebMD it must perform at least 51 percent of the contract's work, Holland said.
Crosby's past work with the federal government, including for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Education, played a small part in being chosen. However, AHRQ sought firms with a history of producing work for similar contracts.
"We would look at past performance overall and look at how effective they were with business relationships in the public and private sectors," Holland said.
Crosby said being chosen as a potential contractor gives his firm a chance to help AHRQ spread its message as it roles out new health care policies and programs.
New government work could lead to Crosby adding new staff members, he said. He said potential new jobs could be for technical writers and digital specialists. Crosby said an understanding of disease types and how to cater marketing materials to specific audiences is critical.
"We're in the process of looking for (candidates with) strong health care communications backgrounds, marketing and with strong understanding of the clinical side of things," Crosby said.
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