Grants Initiatives and Activities
Partnering to Advance Transparency and Research
Thanks to the generous support of foundations and other organizations, FAIR Health continues to expand the use of our data to power consumer-oriented tools that advance health insurance literacy and support decision making, as well as research that informs national healthcare policy, identify trends in clinical practice that speak to quality of care, and more.
Transparency and Health Insurance Literacy Initiatives
Active Grant-Funded Projects
A Claims Analysis to Examine How Telehealth Can Reduce Barriers to Care (Connecticut Health Foundation)
In December 2022, the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) awarded FAIR Health a President’s Discretionary Grant to undertake a data study regarding how telehealth may reduce barriers to healthcare for people of color in Connecticut. The one-year data study will analyze claims from Connecticut for both telehealth services and corresponding in-person services to assess outcomes and utilization of telehealth services.
The study will use FAIR Health’s National Private Insurance Claims (FH NPIC®) database of over 39 billion claim records from 2002 to the present to examine utilization of and outcomes pertaining to telehealth services in Connecticut, including when compared to in-person venues. The study aligns with CT Health’s mission of achieving equity in health and will build upon FAIR Health’s previous work with telehealth.
Following the analysis, in the latter half of 2023, FAIR Health will publish the study findings in a report that will offer actionable insights regarding telehealth and disparities in access to healthcare.
Shared Decision Making
Shared decision making (SDM)—the discussion between patients and/or caregivers and healthcare providers regarding various treatment options—has been known to increase patient engagement and reduce healthcare costs.
A National Initiative to Advance Cost Information in Shared Decision Making for Serious Health Conditions (The John A.
The John A. Hartford Foundation awarded funding to FAIR Health in connection with its project “A National Initiative to Advance Cost Information in Shared Decision Making for Serious Health Conditions.” As part of the initiative, in February 2022, FAIR Health conducted a nationwide study to determine the needs of older adults and their caregivers/care partners when navigating the healthcare system and making decisions. A report with the findings of the study can be found here. Then, in September 2022 FAIR Health launched a new Older Adults section on fairhealthconsumer.org. In addition to educational content and resources, the section includes five new decision aids combining clinical and cost information related to the care of older adults: early-stage breast cancer, fast-growing prostate cancer, spinal stenosis, hip osteoarthritis and hip replacement. FAIR Health also launched three new “total treatment cost” scenarios highlighting the range of costs associated with conditions particularly relevant to an older population: Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, heart failure and major depression. FAIR Health, with the help and guidance of a multi-stakeholder board, is piloting the new tools on its consumer website and will evaluate their perceived utility and value among relevant patient and caregiver populations. The project will culminate in a report on FAIR Health’s findings and contribute to the growing field of research on the utility of SDM in geriatric care.
An Initiative to Advance Shared Decision Making for Patients of Color (New York Health Foundation)
Tools that facilitate SDM, such as decision aids, rarely include cost information, a critical aspect of decision making.
With a generous grant from the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth), FAIR Health is collaborating with Chima Ndumele, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health, Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University and FAIR Health Academic Advisory Board member, to undertake an 18-month initiative involving the creation and dissemination of decision aids that combine both clinical and cost information for conditions pertinent to patients of color (e.g., uterine fibroids, type 2 diabetes and slow-growing prostate cancer). Patients of color are involved in the project’s design, management and execution. A range of diverse stakeholders—including community-based organizations and patient groups—will be engaged in the dissemination of the tools.
Patients of color were involved in the project’s design, management and execution. A range of diverse stakeholders—including community-based organizations and patient groups—will be engaged in the dissemination of the tools. The decision aids launched in May 2022 on both the FAIR Health Consumer website and on FAIR Health’s provider-facing website.
Provider-Oriented Shared Decision-Making Initiative (The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels
With a generous grant from The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, FAIR Health developed an educational website on SDM geared for providers and clinicians who serve older adults with serious illnesses and are facing critical palliative care decisions.
This initiative marks the next chapter of FAIR Health’s efforts to promote SDM to consumers by building on an earlier initiative, funded by The New York Community Trust (see below). The new provider-oriented educational website, which FAIR Health developed with the significant input of experts in palliative care and SDM, offers guidance on integrating SDM in discussions with patients and caregivers when making decisions related to palliative care. Access the new website here.
A report about the findings gleaned from the evaluation of the initiative can be found here.
Shared Decision Making—Palliative Care (The New York Community Trust)
In April 2019, The New York Community Trust awarded FAIR Health a grant to introduce decision aids for SDM on the FAIR Health Consumer website that combine both clinical and cost information for a set of palliative care-related scenarios. The decision aids were launched in March 2020 and include content for dialysis, nutrition options and ventilator options, all for people with serious illnesses. The 18-month project resulted in this brief on shared decision-making that summarized the project findings.
FH® Learn, Access and Understand Navigation of Choices in Healthcare
(LAUNCH) Español (The New York Community Trust)
With a grant from The New York Community Trust, FAIR Health implemented FH® Learn, Access and Understand Navigation of Choices in Healthcare (LAUNCH) Español, an educational initiative to disseminate the free FH® Consumer Classroom mobile app offered in both English and Spanish. Building on FAIR Health’s prior grant-funded efforts to empower healthcare consumers, FH LAUNCH Español promotes health insurance literacy among bilingual Hispanic and Latinx communities in the New York metropolitan area. FH® Consumer Classroom provides FAIR Health’s comprehensive educational information in a concise and accessible format, including articles, videos, a glossary and interactive puzzles. The app also links to FAIR Health’s cost lookup tools on its free, award-winning website fairhealthconsumer.org. Notably, FAIR Health engaged an advertising agency that serves Hispanic and Latinx communities and is collaborating with organizations that work with these specific target audiences to promote the app.
Previous Grant-Funded Projects
NY HOST Español (Healthcare Online Shopping Tool)
With funding from The New York Community Trust, FAIR Health created a Spanish-language, mobile-optimized version of YouCanPlanForThis.org, our innovative consumer cost transparency and education website, to address the needs of New York City’s Latino healthcare consumers. The 18-month project included the translation of the site and a multifaceted, culturally relevant campaign designed to reach New York City’s Latinx population that featured community events, media support and collaborative efforts with Latino community organizations to build awareness of the tool and explain its use.
New York Healthcare Online Shopping Tool (NY HOST)
NY HOST was a phased initiative funded by the New York Health Foundation to help New Yorkers manage costs and compare providers based on price and quality indicators for frequently performed procedures. This statewide initiative resulted in the state’s first free provider price and quality transparency website, YouCanPlanForThis.org, which offered:
- Locally specific estimates of the “allowed” (i.e., negotiated in-network) amounts for medical procedures based on average negotiated in-network rates.
- Estimates of providers’ charges in local markets for out-of-network services or those not covered by insurance;
- Itemized and total price information (both in- and out-of-network) for certain common conditions and procedures;
- For 100 commonly performed procedures in New York State, a listing of thousands of healthcare providers with detailed information about the providers’ prices and practices; and
- For a subset of hospitals in four areas of New York State (Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Westchester), pricing for a set of outpatient procedures and various quality metrics.
The website was promoted through a robust promotional ad campaign entitled “You Can Plan for This.”
Engage Health CT
For the Engage Health CT initiative, funded by the Connecticut Health Foundation, FAIR Health developed and disseminated FH® Cost Lookup CT/FH® CC Salud CT, a free mobile app in English and Spanish (iOS and Android), designed to improve health insurance literacy and healthcare engagement among Connecticut residents. Introduced in September 2016, the app allows consumers to estimate the costs of medical and dental services performed in Connecticut and neighboring states, offers educational articles that explain health insurance and directs users to community resources.
Healthcare Engagement for Latino Populations (HELP)
Funded by the New York Community Trust, FAIR Health developed and promoted a Spanish-language mobile app to help New York City’s Hispanic population estimate healthcare costs and learn about health insurance. FH® CCSalud (FH Calculadora de Costos de Salud) features medical and dental cost lookup tools, educational content and links to external resources. Promoted through community events and digital communications, HELP generated a significant number of mobile app downloads.
FAIR Health works with academics, healthcare institutions, government agencies and other researchers to explore the use of our data in health systems research on a wide range of topics—for example, how policy change affects healthcare costs and utilization. Other examples include:
FAIR Health Collaboration with West Health and Johns Hopkins University
FAIR Health has partnered with West Health to leverage its data assets to examine COVID-19 patient comorbidities, risk factors and outcomes. Undertaken with Dr. Marty Makary—Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In 2020, FAIR Health, West Health and Dr. Makary collaborated on rigorous data analysis . Using the FAIR Health National Private Insurance Claims (FH NPIC®) database, the analysis identified risk factors, comorbidities and associated outcomes of those diagnosed with COVID-19, with an emphasis on older adult populations. Dr. Makary oversaw a parallel analysis of Medicare data, to study medications hypothesized to be therapeutic agents for COVID-19.
The study, detailed in this report, yielded actionable insights used to inform clinical and policy solutions regarding older adults, especially those at risk for severe morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19, thereby informing prevention, treatment and possible protocols for distributing vaccines
This collaboration highlighted one of the many ways in which FAIR Health supports health services research. Other examples include:
- Understanding geographic variations and clinical patterns that underlie the opioid epidemic;
- Studying care migration patterns of specific patient populations (e.g., those with diabetes); and
- Developing indicators that predict healthcare costs and utilization for specific services over time.
Learn more about how FAIR Health supports research here.
Expanding the use of our data through consumer-oriented tools and research support
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