External Research

External researchers rely on FAIR Health data and publications for a broad array of studies featured in prominent journals and government reports. This year’s external research included studies from JAMA, Health Affairs and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), among others. Topics included COVID-19, telehealth, cancer care and pediatric care.

External research came in two basic forms: studies making direct use of FAIR Health data, and research citing FAIR Health’s own data studies.

Direct Use of FAIR Health Data

J. Michael McWilliams, Ateev Mehrotra and Ali Russo, “Implications of Early Health Care Spending Reductions for Expected Spending as the COVID-19 Pandemic Evolves,” JAMA Internal Medicine (November 9, 2020).
The authors studied the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare spending in the first 14 weeks of 2020. The analysis used FAIR Health claims data.

Zaid Al-Qurayshi, Emad Kandil and Gregory W. Randolph, “Cost-Effectiveness of Routine Calcitonin Screening and Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy in Preoperative Diagnosis of Medullary Thyroid Cancer in the United States,” Oral Oncology 110 (November 2020): 104878.
The researchers examined the cost-effectiveness in the United States of a routine calcitonin screening test for medullary thyroid cancer. Cost data were obtained from FAIR Health.

Tasce Bongiovanni et al., “Is There Variation in Private Payor Payments to Cancer Surgeons? A Cross-Sectional Study in the USA,” BMJ Open 10, no. 10 (October 5, 2020).
The researchers assessed variation of private payors’ payments to surgeons for cancer resection using data based on fee-for-service allowed amounts. FAIR Health allowed amount benchmarks were used for the study.

Jared Augenstein and Jacqueline D. Marks, “Ensuring Children’s Access to Care Using Telehealth in Medicaid during COVID-19,” Manatt on Health: Medicaid Edition, September 1, 2020.
The authors described how state Medicaid programs have used policy levers to increase access to pediatric telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. FAIR Health data were used to study telehealth utilization in the pediatric population.

Osayi A. Odia et al., “An Evidence-Based Algorithm Decreases Computed Tomography Use in Hemodynamically Stable Pediatric Blunt Abdominal Trauma Patients,” American Journal of Surgery 220, no. 2 (August 2020): 482-88.
The researchers assessed how an evidence-based algorithm affected abdominopelvic-computed tomography (CTAP) and hospital resource use for hemodynamically stable children with blunt abdominal trauma. FAIR Health data were used to estimate cost savings from reduction in CTAP rates.

Dimitar K. Gavrilov et al., “The Combined Impact of CLIR Post-Analytical Tools and Second Tier Testing on the Performance of Newborn Screening for Disorders of Propionate, Methionine, and Cobalamin Metabolism,” International Journal of Neonatal Screening 6, no. 2 (April 10, 2020): 33.
The authors described the performance outcome of an algorithm for disorders of methionine, cobalamin and propionate metabolism in newborn screening. The study used FAIR Health data to estimate the cost savings due to prevented referral and follow-up.

Linda J. Blumberg et al., “Estimating the Impact of a Public Option or Capping Provider Payment Rates,” Urban Institute Health Policy Center, March 2020.
The researchers studied the coverage and spending implications of various forms of a public health insurance option introduced as an alternative to private plans available to consumers. FAIR Health data were used to estimate typical commercial prices relative to Medicare rates for both hospitals and professionals.

Linda J. Blumberg et al., “Introducing a Public Option or Capped Provider Payment Rates into Private Insurance Markets,” Urban Institute Health Policy Center, March 2020.
This was a shorter version of the full report by the same authors, “Estimating the Impact of a Public Option or Capping Provider Payment Rates,” in which FAIR Health data were used to estimate commercial prices relative to Medicare rates.

J. Moon et al., “Abstract No. 632 Current Health Care Burden and Rising Costs of Nephrostomy-Related Procedures in the United States,” Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology 31, no. 3, supplement (March 2020): S273-74.
This study examined the healthcare burden and rising costs of nephrostomy-related procedures in the United States. The incidence rate of each procedure was correlated with procedural cost data from FAIR Health.

Richard E. Heller III et al., “The Surprise Insurance Gap: History, Context, and Proposed Solutions,” Journal of the American College of Radiology 17, no. 1PB (January 2020): 141-47.
The authors discussed the issue of surprise billing, or the “surprise insurance gap.” FAIR Health data were cited in a comparison of the Medicare rate and the median charge amount for a radiological procedure.

Citations of FAIR Health Data Studies

Bina Kassamali et al., “Telemedicine and the Battle for Health Equity: Translating Temporary Regulatory Orders into Sustained Policy Change,” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 83, no. 6 (December 1, 2020): E467-68.
The authors argued for continuing access to telehealth on a long-term basis after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker was cited.

Michael T. Kemp et al., “Factors Associated with Increased Risk of Patient No-Show in Telehealth and Traditional Surgery Clinics,” Journal of the American College of Surgeons 231, no. 6 (December 1, 2020): P695-702.
The researchers studied factors affecting surgical patient follow-up in telehealth and traditional settings. A FAIR Health white paper on telehealth was cited.

National Governors Association, “The Future of State Telehealth Policy,” November 30, 2020.
This paper discussed telehealth policy flexibilities provided by states and the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic and offered considerations to help policy makers assess the appropriateness of policy permanence beyond the pandemic. FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker was cited.

Jay A. Lieberman et al., “The Global Burden of Illness of Peanut Allergy: A Comprehensive Literature Review,” Allergy (November 20, 2020).
This narrative review comprehensively assessed the factors making up the burden of peanut allergy. A FAIR Health white paper on food allergy was cited.

National Governors Association, “Governor Strategies to Expand Affordable Broadband Access,” November 17, 2020.
This white paper presented use cases for expanded broadband access and highlighted best practices for governors to consider while facing connectivity challenges in their states. FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker was cited in the context of one use case, telehealth.

Shira H. Fischer et al., “Prevalence and Characteristics of Telehealth Utilization in the United States,” JAMA Network Open 3, no. 10 (October 26, 2020): e2022302.
This survey study measured the use of and the willingness to use telehealth across the US population. A FAIR Health white paper on telehealth was cited.

Gary Claxton et al., “Health Benefits in 2020: Premiums in Employer-Sponsored Plans Grow 4 Percent; Employers Consider Responses to Pandemic,” Health Affairs (October 8, 2020).
This article presented findings from the 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey. The authors cited FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker.

Nicole Hadeed and A. Mark Fendrick, “Enhance Care Continuity Post COVID-19,” American Journal of Managed Care 27, no. 4 (2021; in press September 29, 2020).
This editorial argued that the COVID-19 pandemic had created an opportunity to improve continuity of care. FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker was cited.

Jaspal Singh and Nikky Keer, “Overview of Telemedicine and Sleep Disorders,” Sleep Medicine Clinics 15, no. 3 (September 1, 2020): P341-46.
This article discussed issues involved in the incorporation of telehealth into sleep medicine. The authors cited a FAIR Health white paper on telehealth.

Jade Vergara, Abby Parish and Benjamin Smallheer, “Telehealth: Opportunities in Geriatric Patient Care during COVID-19,” Geriatric Nursing 41, no. 5 (September-October 2020): 657-58.
This report discussed telehealth’s history and implications for geriatric patient care. FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker was cited.

Lily Du Yan et al., “Education vs Clinician Feedback on Antibiotic Prescriptions for Acute Respiratory Infections in Telemedicine: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, August 26, 2020.
The researchers studied the role of education plus individualized feedback, compared with education alone, in reducing antibiotic prescription rates for upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, sinusitis and pharyngitis in a telemedicine setting. A FAIR Health white paper on healthcare indicators and indices was cited for background on telemedicine.

Ben Strong et al., “Orthoplastics, Tariffs and the Reality of Providing Complex Fracture Care,” Injury 51, no. 8 (August 1, 2020): P1823-27.
This study assessed the orthoplastic trauma workload in a major trauma center over 12 months, comparing the resource burden of each admission to the funding received. A FAIR Health Insurance Basics article was cited in a discussion of methods of billing for inpatient care.

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), HHS Secretary’s Report on: Addressing Surprise Medical Billing, July 29, 2020.
This was a federal report, required by executive order, on steps the Administration may take to implement its principles on surprise medical billing. FAIR Health’s consumer website was cited as an example of price transparency tools.

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data from the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, July 28, 2020.
This federal issue brief discussed changes in telehealth use among Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic. A FAIR Health brief on the impact of the pandemic on healthcare professionals was cited.

Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta, “COVID-19 and the Medicare Trust Funds,” AEI Economic Perspectives, July 2020.
The authors examined how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect Medicare finances. They cited a FAIR Health brief projecting total hospital costs for COVID-19 patients.

Marcelina Jasmine Silva and Zakary Kelly, “The Escalation of the Opioid Epidemic Due to COVID-19 and Resulting Lessons about Treatment Alternatives,” American Journal of Managed Care 26, no. 7 (July 2020).
In the context of the worsening of the opioid epidemic due to COVID-19, the authors argued for an alternative approach to treating the opioid epidemic. The article cited a FAIR Health white paper on the economic costs of the opioid crisis.

Dasha Solomon and Neelkamal Soares, “Telehealth Approaches to Care Coordination in Autism Spectrum Disorder,” in Interprofessional Care Coordination for Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder: Translating Research into Practice, eds., Maryellen Brunson McClain, Jeffrey D. Shahidullah and Katherine R. Mezher (Cham, Switzerland: Springer, June 24, 2020), 289-306.
The authors of this chapter studied the current literature on the use of telehealth and its potential benefits and limitations for diagnosis, treatment and care coordination for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A FAIR Health white paper on healthcare indicators and indices was cited in discussion of the growth of telehealth usage.

Hilary Wong, “The Case for Compulsory Licensing during COVID-19,” Journal of Global Health 10, no. 1 (June 2020): 010358.
The author argued that governments of developing countries should prepare to issue compulsory licenses of any effective COVID-19 treatments. The author cited a FAIR Health brief on the projected costs of inpatient services for COVID-19.

Cynthia Cox, Rabah Kamal and Daniel McDermott, “How Have Healthcare Utilization and Spending Changed So Far during the Coronavirus Pandemic?,” Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, May 29, 2020.
The authors summarized what was known about how healthcare costs and utilization had changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They cited findings from a FAIR Health brief on the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals and health systems.

American Hospital Association, “Hospitals and Health Systems Face Unprecedented Financial Pressures Due to COVID-19,” May 6, 2020.
The study estimated the four-month financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on US hospitals and health systems. It cited a FAIR Health brief on the projected costs of inpatient services for COVID-19.

Rebecca R. Burns, Elizabeth R. Alpern and Jonathan Rodean, “Factors Associated with Urgent Care Reliance and Outpatient Health Care Use among Children Enrolled in Medicaid,” JAMA Network Open 3, no. 5 (May 6, 2020): e204185.
The researchers sought to identify factors associated with high urgent care reliance in children enrolled in Medicaid and to study how urgent care reliance was related to use of other outpatient healthcare. A FAIR Health white paper on healthcare indicators and indices was cited in discussion of the rapid growth of urgent care centers.

Gregg Bloche and Daniel Wikler, “Could Coronavirus Cause the Collapse of Our Health Care Financing System?,” Health Affairs Blog, May 5, 2020.
The authors considered the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s private insurance system. They cited a FAIR Health brief on the projected costs of inpatient services for COVID-19.

Sherry Glied and Helen Levy, “The Potential Effects of Coronavirus on National Health Expenditures,” JAMA, April 27, 2020.
The authors discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect the ratio of healthcare spending to gross domestic product. They cited a FAIR Health brief on the projected costs of inpatient services for COVID-19.

Margot Thistle, “States Should Act Now to Mitigate Commercial Insurance Costs Associated with COVID-19,” Health Affairs Blog, April 25, 2020.
The author examined the impact that COVID-19-related health insurance expenditures in 2020 would have in 2021, and how states could work with insurers to protect the individual and small group health insurance markets. She cited a FAIR Health brief on the projected costs of inpatient services for COVID-19.

Bisakha Sen et al., “The Rise in Pediatric Obesity-Related Conditions and Costs in Public Insurance Programs: Evidence from Alabama,” Childhood Obesity, March 27, 2020.
The study explored trends in the prevalence of diagnosed pediatric obesity-related conditions and associated costs. A FAIR Health white paper on pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes was cited as background.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, March 2020.
This report fulfilled MedPAC’s legislative mandate to evaluate Medicare payment issues and make recommendations to Congress. A FAIR Health white paper on the opioid crisis was cited in a discussion of opioid use among Medicare beneficiaries.

Shawna S. Mudd et al., “Urgent Care Utilization in a Pediatric Population with Private Health Insurance,” Journal of Pediatric Health Care, February 20, 2020.
The researchers studied pediatric urgent care utilization patterns in privately insured patients. They cited a FAIR Health white paper to document the percentage of urgent care visits among children with private insurance.

Manatt, Phelps & Philips, LLP, “Estimating the ROI of Telehealth Programs,” JD Supra, January 28, 2020.
This analysis concerned the characteristics providers need to consider when calculating telehealth’s return on investment (ROI). The study cited FAIR Health findings on the recent growth of telehealth.

Caleb J. Browne et al., “Epigenetic Mechanisms of Opioid Addiction,” Biological Psychiatry 87, no. 1 (January 1, 2020): 22-33.
This review summarized studies of opioid-induced epigenetic modifications and their resulting changes to gene expression. The article cited a FAIR Health white paper as evidence for increasing initiation of opioid use over the last decade.

Mary Shultz and Donna R. Berryman, “Collection Practices for Nontraditional Online Resources among Academic Health Sciences Libraries,” Journal of the Medical Library Association 108, no. 2 (2020).
The study aimed to determine if academic health sciences libraries were licensing nontraditional online resources and to provide a snapshot of related current collections practices. FAIR Health Consumer was one of the resources found to be licensed by survey respondents.

Other Articles on FAIR Health Data

FAIR Health data are frequently cited in media outlets that reach popular audiences and the healthcare industry. For articles about FAIR Health from 2020 and earlier, see Media Coverage.

In addition, FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd frequently writes on FAIR Health data and related topics. For her articles from 2020 and earlier, see the President’s Corner.

If you are interested in learning how FAIR Health data and analytics can support your research, contact us by email at info@fairhealth.org or call us at 855-301-FAIR (3247), Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm ET.