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Gotcha! The top five April Fool’s Day pranks in healthcare

Of course, ZDoggMD makes this list with a hilarious video promoting the anti-vaccination movement. Also, April Fool’s pranks from CosmosID and Twine Health.


It’s April Fool’s Day, and healthcare wonks have brought out their wonkiest foolery in celebration. Here are the top five April Fool’s pranks of healthcare:

5. The Medical Group Management Association makes annual compensation data comically complex

It’s already a pain to understand and analyze healthcare data – but MGMA, for April Fool’s sake, has made it even more convoluted. It offers a dry audiobook version of their compensation data report, as well as an explanatory video, and an online ticker that scrolls through the data a la 1995.

4. CosmosID expands from microbial metagenomics into hip-hop music production 


Maryland metagenomics startup CosmosID, which provides rapid microorganism identification for infectious disease diagnostics, food safety and microbiome analysis, sent out a press release saying it’s expanding metagenomics into hip hop production.

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Check out the rap above — it’s catchy!

3.  Twine Health launches Snapchart — the self-destructing EMR


Cambridge, Massachusetts-based health coaching app Twine Health elicited some chuckles with the release of “Snapchart” — a play on the wildly popular social media tool that functions, in this case, as a self-destructing EHR.

“From ‘Mission: Impossible’ to Snapchat, we know that the only way to truly protect information is to destroy it,” the video above for Snapchart says. “Think about it: Hackers can’t access information that no longer exists.”

2. Pfizer’s press release hoax:

A fake press release explaining why and how Pfizer will stop raising its drug prices came out a day early, as reported by Bloomberg. The March 31 release, sent from the e-mail address of an actual Pfizer spokesman, actually led to the retraction of a Washington Post story!

The release certainly fed into the current media abhorrence for skyrocketing drug prices, and claimed that Pfizer would “cease routine price increases” so as to increase patient access to their drug.

It’s not all fun and games, though. “Pfizer is investigating this matter and evaluating its legal options against the parties responsible,” it said in a statement.

One thing that lent credence to the hoax release, of course, was that it was sent out March 31 — not on April Fool’s.

1. ZDoggMD’s wrong about vaccines

Doctor-slash-hip-hop-superstar Zubin Damania played the role of vaccine apologist in a “heartfelt,” hysterical video. It’s certainly a departure from his previous, pro-vaccination anthems like “Immunize,” “One Injection” and HPV anthem, “More Than Warts.”

“I studied extensively the work of such luminaries in immunology as Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy and a guy who used to be an actual doctor — Andrew Wakefield,” ZDoggMD said. “After that, I followed it up with a Dr. Oz marathon.”

It’s worth every minute.