This article over at the Columbia Journalism Review is worth reading unless you're paranoid and then it will drive you completely out of your mind. It has do with partnerships between news organizations and hospitals and how weird they are. What is even more creepy is how hard it is to distinguish between news and marketing and also how complicit most television stations are about this kind of pre-rolled content. From the marketing perspective, they're even more dubious like so:
One result of the epidemic is that the health stories that dominate local TV news tend to push expensive specialties and procedures—like bariatric surgery for obesity, which can cost upwards of $20,000, or expensive gamma knife surgery for brain cancer, with a price tag of $10,000 or more. Stories about less profitable diagnoses, like AIDS or pneumonia, are rare, let alone pieces about care for the uninsured.
This should surprise no one, of course, since the 'run it like a business' ethic has trickled down to even the television hospital dramas now. What I'm thinking is that insurance companies could throw their hat into this particularly 'let the market decide' ring and compete with commercials that advertise preventative measures and/or alternative procedures but that is probably just crazy talk.