FAIR Health Pilot to Pair Clinical Decision Aids with Cost Information

FAIR Health will launch a groundbreaking pilot that integrates cost information into a shared decision-making (SDM) tool for specific palliative care scenarios, with generous funding from The New York Community Trust (The Trust). In collaboration with recognized SDM expert Professor Glyn Elwyn of the Dartmouth Institute, FAIR Health plans to implement the clinical decision aids with relevant cost data on its free, award-winning consumer website, fairhealthconsumer.org.

The pilot is a natural extension of the pioneering work done by FAIR Health Consumer in making healthcare cost information transparent, elevating health insurance literacy and helping consumers navigate the healthcare system. A national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information, FAIR Health powers the cost information on FAIR Health Consumer with its database of billions of private healthcare claims—the largest in the nation. The same database will provide the cost data for the new SDM tool.

SDM, the discussion between patients/caregivers and healthcare providers regarding various treatment options, has been known to increase patient engagement and reduce healthcare costs. In the past, the utility of SDM tools has been limited by the absence of cost data to complement the clinical information. The pairing of decision aids with a rich source of cost data will be a novel way of advancing consumer decision making.

FAIR Health operates on both the micro and macro levels. On the micro level, the project will help individual consumers make sound decisions. Once the SDM tool is launched on the FAIR Health Consumer website, FAIR Health will collaborate with organizations and professionals that provide palliative care services in the New York metropolitan area in order to promote awareness of this resource. On the macro level, and as part of the grant-funded collaboration, FAIR Health and Dr. Elwyn will evaluate the extent to which the tool was helpful in the decision-making process.

“Shared decision making promises to play a critical role in increasing healthcare transparency, for the benefit of both patients and healthcare providers,” FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd commented. “We are honored to receive this grant award from The New York Community Trust.”

Dr. Elwyn stated: “I am pleased to collaborate with FAIR Health on this important project. Conversations around palliative care options are key to advancing an aspect of healthcare that is not often spoken about, but that is quite significant.”

Irfan Hasan, program director of The Trust’s Healthy Lives, stated: “Taking an active role in one’s healthcare decisions is vital to a New Yorker’s quality of life. Decision aids, combined with trusted cost information, empower patients and their caregivers to do just that. The Trust is proud to support the efforts of FAIR Health in order to move this critical initiative forward.”