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Consumer Transparency Tool Featured at NYSHealth Conference

On November 2, 2017, FAIR Health participated in a conference hosted by the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. Entitled “Empowering Health Care Consumers,” the meeting was attended by hundreds of consumer advocates; community leaders; public health experts; and representatives of government agencies, institutional providers and individual practices, among others.

The conference discussions explored the challenges facing today’s healthcare consumers, calling special attention to the need for accessible resources that offer reliable information about the cost of care and guidance for navigating the healthcare system. FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd took part in a panel discussion, entitled “Transparency with a Purpose,” which centered on the potential that consumer transparency resources have for bringing healthcare consumers in from the margins of the healthcare process to a pivotal, interactive role in a dialogue involving providers and insurers. 

The conference opened with a video that underscored consumer needs by following two patients—one, a woman facing a complicated pregnancy, and the second, her father, who suffered from diabetes. The video identified YouCanPlanForThis.org, which was developed by FAIR Health with the support of a NYSHealth grant, as a valuable resource, both in presenting cost estimates for the range of procedures related to an “episode of care”—like pregnancy or diabetes—and for equipping the patients with the fundamental understanding of health coverage they need to make informed decisions about their care and its costs.

The overall tone for the day’s proceedings, however, was set by the keynote speaker, Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News and author of the New York Times best seller An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. Ms. Rosenthal discussed some key takeaways from her book regarding how patients could begin discussing price with their providers to obtain the most cost-efficient care; where employers can help push for a benefits structure that helps control employee costs while ensuring quality of care; and where patients are equipped to understand and act on essential information about cost and coverage.  FAIR Health is proud to be highlighted in Ms. Rosenthal’s book as offering a helpful online tool for consumer decision making.

For more information about the YouCanPlanForThis.org consumer website and FAIR Health’s suite of resources that promote healthcare cost transparency and education for consumers, contact us by email at info@fairhealth.org or call us at 855-301-3247, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm ET.