FAIR Health Research

December 10, 2019

FAIR Health publishes original analyses of its data exploring healthcare-related issues. This year’s studies included four white papers, a brief and two infographics. Topics ranged from Lyme disease, telehealth, behavioral health, place of service trends and medical pricing, and surprise billing to consumer website usage statistics.

FAIR Health, Trends and Patterns in Lyme Disease: An Analysis of Private Claims Data, A FAIR Health White Paper, December 2019.
This study compared Lyme disease to other tick-borne diseases, noting their different trends and patterns in rural versus urban areas. Among the topics of analysis were multiyear trends, monthly distribution, state distribution, age and gender, places of service, procedures, and other diagnoses found in patients who had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. The report found that claim lines with diagnoses of Lyme disease increased nationally 117 percent from 2007 to 2018.

FAIR Health, A Multilayered Analysis of Telehealth: How This Emerging Venue of Care Is Affecting the Healthcare Landscape, A FAIR Health White Paper, July 2019.
This white paper examined different types of telehealth, comparing them nationally and by rural versus urban area, as well as by age and gender. It analyzed the most common telehealth diagnostic categories and, using longitudinal data, studied the diagnoses associated with patients who have an in-person follow-up visit within 15 days of a telehealth visit. The report found that the telehealth category fueling most of the venue’s recent rapid growth is non-hospital-based provider-to-patient telehealth.

FAIR Health, Spotlight on National Behavioral Health Trends: A 10-Year Window into Key Mental Health and Substance Abuse Indicators, A FAIR Health White Paper, May 2019.
A study of trends in the nation’s behavioral health in the decade from 2007 to 2017, this white paper showed disproportionate representation of young people in the increase in claim lines for mental health diagnoses. For example, the pediatric share (ages 0-22) of claim lines for major depressive disorder increased from 15 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2017. In addition to studying mental health, the report analyzed trends in substance use disorders, finding that from 2007 to 2017, opioid dependence overtook alcohol dependence to represent the largest share of claim lines with substance use disorder diagnoses.

FAIR Health, FH Healthcare Indicators® and FH Medical Price Index® 2019: An Annual View of Place of Service Trends and Medical Pricing, A FAIR Health White Paper, April 2019.
This was the second edition of FAIR Health’s annual white paper on place of service trends and medical prices, developed to assist the full spectrum of healthcare stakeholders by providing clarity in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. The report found that private insurance claim lines for services rendered via telehealth grew more than any other venue of care studied for that variable—urgent care centers, retail clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and emergency rooms. The study also reported shifts in costs and facilitated comparisons among medical prices in six procedure categories: professional evaluation and management (E&M), hospital E&M, medicine, surgery, pathology and laboratory, and radiology.

FAIR Health, Teasing Apart the Threads to the Surprise Billing Debate: Understanding Policy Choices through the Lens of Independent Data, A FAIR Health Brief, March 2019.
FAIR Health is frequently consulted as a resource on surprise billing by state and federal officials and healthcare stakeholders. In our capacity as a neutral, independent authority on the issue, we released this brief to help inform the debate, outlining the varying approaches under consideration by federal and state policy makers and including data visualizations that help reveal the implications of those approaches. The visualizations compared different types of values, such as charges, allowed amounts and Medicare fees, for specific medical procedures identified by official codes in different states and local areas.

FAIR Health, www.fairhealthconsumer.org Usage Statistics 2018, A FAIR Health Infographic, January 2019.
This infographic displayed year-end statistics on usage of FAIR Health’s free, award-winning, healthcare cost transparency website for consumers, fairhealthconsumer.org. The infographic listed the top 10 states from which users originated, which spanned all four US census regions. The study also included top medical and dental search terms, gender, age, insurance status, technology used to access the site and the source of the visit.

FAIR Health, Spanish-Language Website www.fairhealthconsumidor.org Usage Statistics Sep 12, 2018 – Nov 8, 2018, A FAIR Health Infographic, January 2019.
In September 2018, a newly expanded Spanish version of FAIR Health’s consumer website was launched as fairhealthconsumidor.org. This infographic, a companion to the one on the English-language site, presented statistics on usage of FAIR Health Consumidor in the months after that launch. The study included top medical and dental search terms, gender, age, technology used to access the site, source of the visit and popular articles.