Fischer bid lands Ernst &Young health care deal

LOS ANGELES: Fischer & Partners last week beat out several other firms, including GCI, Paine Associates, Sciens Worldwide and Noonan/Russo Communications, to win the PR account for Ernst & Young's national health care practice.

LOS ANGELES: Fischer & Partners last week beat out several other firms, including GCI, Paine Associates, Sciens Worldwide and Noonan/Russo Communications, to win the PR account for Ernst & Young's national health care practice.

The firm was also tapped by Tenet Health Systems to provide PR.

According to president Roger Fischer, the E&Y win presents a challenge in that the firm must publicize a company already regarded as a major player in its industry. 'Most people out there don't distinguish among the 'big five' accounting firms,' he explained. 'In healthcare, however, E&Y commands a 50% market share. They want due credit for the dominance they've created.'

To this end, Fischer's edict is to make sure E&Y's voice is heard - loudly - in the marketplace. 'We're looking at much more than placements, everything from seminars to sponsorship programs,' he said.

The E&Y and Tenet wins come on the heels of the firm's earlier acquisition of the UNICARE Life & Health Insurance Company account, and position the firm as one of the few across-the-board suppliers of healthcare PR.

'We'd like to add a carve-in/carve-out company - say, a disease management company targeting a specific disease state,' he said. 'Still, Ernst & Young, Tenet and UNICARE give us leaders in three major healthcare segments.'

Fischer, however, said the acquisition of major accounts in these segments precludes the firm from procuring others. 'There would be conflicts of interest if we represented any other national hospital chain or payor/provider company,' he explained.

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