FAIR Health Consumidor: One Year since Launch

On September 17, 2018, FAIR Health launched fairhealthconsumidor.org, the Spanish version of our free, award-winning healthcare cost transparency website. With generous support from The New York Community Trust, the mobile-optimized FAIR Health Consumidor was redesigned and augmented to include all the features of the English version, fairhealthconsumer.org. Now, one year later, we look at the launch and how the site is being used.

In keeping with FAIR Health’s mission of healthcare cost transparency, our expanded Spanish site is meant to provide Spanish speakers with resources to improve their understanding of health insurance and healthcare costs so that they can successfully navigate today’s complex healthcare system.

New Features
As part of the site’s redesign, we added many new features, including:

  • Typical in-network rates for thousands of medical procedures in the consumer’s vicinity;
  • Total and itemized costs of 25 common “bundles” or episodes of care;
  • A toolkit explaining how to use quality measures to make informed decisions about healthcare;
  • Expanded educational resources;
  • Videos showing how the site can be used to research costs for different health conditions; and
  • A fresh design and easy-to-use interface.

Spreading the Word
To raise awareness in Spanish-speaking communities about the new site, FAIR Health undertook a multifaceted dissemination campaign. FAIR Health’s communications department conducted media outreach. A Hispanic/Latino-oriented advertising agency, sociedAD, was engaged to create culturally relevant, targeted digital display and social media ads. In-person outreach was done at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York City, where FAIR Health representatives spoke with visitors and distributed informational postcards.

Evaluating the Launch
FAIR Health employed a number of methods to evaluate the launch. Those methods included calculating usage analytics on social media and digital platforms, conducting key informant interviews and holding discussions with Hispanic/Latino consumers.

Our analysis showed that the website launch was a success, creating millions of impressions and driving thousands of new visitors to the site. From November 2018 to July 2019, there was a 240 percent increase in Spanish-speaking users of FAIR Health Consumidor. Qualitative feedback from key informants and consumers suggested that the website is a valuable resource for the target population.

Analysis also provided insights into our users and how they used the site. For the time period November 2018 to July 2019, the majority of FAIR Health Consumidor users were male (59 percent). Most users fell into the 25-34 age group (38 percent), followed by individuals 34-44 (25 percent). Those age 65 and over accounted for only five percent of users.

The majority (61 percent) of FAIR Health Consumidor users reached the site directly, and 22 percent were referred to it, indicating the campaign did its job of increasing awareness. Most visitors (75 percent) used a mobile device to reach the site. The most-searched medical terms were “knee,” “anesthesia,” “MRI,” “CT scan” and “gastric bypass.” The dental terms with the most searches were “crown,” “root canal,” “denture” and “inlay.” The most popular articles were about reviewing medical bills, immigration and health insurance, emergency and urgent care, dental care for children and paying for orthodontics.

We have continued to add new features to the site since the launch project period ended on March 31, 2019. For example, the new geo-compare feature allows users to compare costs in surrounding zip codes. We have also added new educational content on coverage for alternative treatments and on using health insurance while traveling.

FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “Hispanics/Latinos remain disproportionately uninsured and are more likely to report delaying care due to cost. We are gratified to help members of these communities navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with FAIR Health Consumidor.”