Grants Initiatives and Activities
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 offer information to support health insurance literacy and healthcare decision making, as well as research that informs national healthcare policy, identifies trends in clinical practice that speak to quality of care, and more.
Active Grant-Funded Projects
Understanding Gaps in Care and Reimbursement for Diverse Populations with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: A Claims-Based Analysis (Johns Hopkins University Hopkins Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease & Services [HEADS] Center) – 2023-2024
FAIR Health, in collaboration with Academic Advisory Board member Jevay Grooms, PhD, of Howard University, is undertaking an economic study on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) under a pilot grant awarded by the Hopkins Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease & Services (HEADS) Center of the National Institute on Aging. The HEADS Center advances and implements new research on ADRD and is part of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Grants awarded by the HEADS Center are intended to identify the care needs of patients with ADRD and the economic consequences, as well as to examine the accessibility, quality, affordability and equity of ADRD care.
As part of the new study, “Understanding Gaps in Care and Reimbursement for Diverse Populations with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: A Claims-Based Analysis,” Dr. Grooms and FAIR Health will examine claim dates of service from 2016 to 2022, utilizing Medicare data and commercial data from the FAIR Health National Private Insurance Claims (FH NPIC®) database, which houses over 42 billion claim records from 2002 to the present and is the largest such repository in the nation. Dr. Grooms and FAIR Health economic and data scientists will analyze the data to identify costs of ADRD care, establish incidence and prevalence of ADRD in patient populations and define patient populations by geographic region and other diverse demographic factors. Notably, the study’s time frame will allow for observations of patterns in ADRD care before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis is anticipated to provide actionable insights into the cost and utilization patterns of ADRD care and new healthcare models for diverse groups of patients with ADRD. It may also prompt further research into the financial impacts of care for diverse patient populations and caregivers. A public-facing paper describing the study results is expected to be published in the spring of 2024.
A National Initiative to Advance Cost Information in Shared Decision Making for Older Adults with Serious Health Conditions: Phase II Implementation Project (The John A. Hartford Foundation) – 2023-2026
In March 2023, The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) awarded FAIR Health a grant to implement a new three-year initiative that will seek to improve shared decision making and healthcare engagement among older adults and family caregivers in the United States. The project will expand the work begun under a prior JAHF-funded planning grant, which resulted in the launch of a new section for older adults on our free, national, award-winning consumer website (fairhealthconsumer.org). The Older Adults section offers actionable tools, content and resources, such as checklists, intended to help older patients and family caregivers understand and manage their healthcare costs and make informed healthcare decisions. The new tools featured in the section include a set of shared decision-making tools for serious health conditions that affect older adults. Combining clinical and cost information, these tools provide a fuller picture of treatment options and costs associated with care. The section also features a set of total treatment cost scenarios highlighting the range of costs for a year of care for other conditions relevant to older adults.
As part of this new initiative, FAIR Health—under the guidance of a multistakeholder project advisory board—will disseminate the newly developed tools, content and resources to older patients and family caregivers through a national, multilevel, multimedia campaign and through collaborations with Age-Friendly Health Systems sites that will seek to pilot the tools at the point of care. A robust program evaluation will be conducted in the project’s third year to gauge how older patients and family caregivers and providers use the tools and how the tools may improve the ability to engage in healthcare decision making.
A Claims Analysis to Examine How Telehealth Can Reduce Barriers to Care (Connecticut Health Foundation) – 2023
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 analyzed claims from Connecticut for both telehealth services and corresponding in-person services to assess outcomes and utilization of telehealth services.
The study used FAIR Health’s National Private Insurance Claims (FH NPIC®) database of over 42 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 aligned with CT Health’s mission of achieving equity in health and built upon FAIR Health’s previous work with telehealth.
In September 2023, FAIR Health published the study findings in a report that offered actionable insights regarding telehealth and disparities in access to healthcare.
Previous Grant-Funded Projects
Shared Decision Making
Shared decision making (SDM)—the discussion between patients and/or caregivers and healthcare providers to decide on tests and treatment by balancing clinical evidence with patients’ preferences and values—has shown promise for improving patient engagement and reducing healthcare costs. Tools that facilitate SDM, such as decision aids, rarely include cost information, a critical aspect of decision making. FAIR Health has implemented grant-funded initiatives to develop and disseminate SDM tools that combine both clinical and cost information for conditions pertinent to various populations.
A National Initiative to Advance Cost Information in Shared Decision Making for Serious Health Conditions (The John A.
Hartford Foundation) – 2021-2022
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 published a report with its findings from its nationwide study that sought to determine the needs of older adults and their caregivers/care partners when navigating the healthcare system and making healthcare decisions. 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, piloted the new tools on its consumer website and evaluated their perceived utility and value among relevant patient and caregiver populations. FAIR Health’s project findings were published in a report that was released in February 2023.
An Initiative to Advance Shared Decision Making for Patients of Color (New York Health Foundation) – 2021-2022
With a generous grant from the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth), FAIR Health collaborated 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 were involved in the project’s design, management and execution. A range of diverse stakeholders—including community-based organizations and patient groups—were 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, fairhealthprovider.org. After the launch, FAIR Health and Dr. Ndumele evaluated the results of the initiative; a report with project findings was released in November 2022 and can be found here.
Provider-Oriented Shared Decision-Making Initiative (The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation) – 2020-2021
With a generous grant from The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, FAIR Health developed an educational website, FAIR Health Provider (fairhealthprovider.org), on SDM geared for providers and clinicians who serve older adults with serious illnesses and are facing critical palliative care decisions.
This initiative marked 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 provider-oriented 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) – 2019-2020
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.
Transparency and Health Insurance Literacy Initiatives
To support its mission of promoting transparency concerning healthcare costs, FAIR Health has undertaken several initiatives to increase consumer access to information regarding costs of care. These initiatives also have sought to increase health insurance literacy, which is the ability to use information about health insurance to make informed decisions.
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 educate healthcare consumers, FH LAUNCH Español promoted dissemination of educational materials supporting health insurance literacy among bilingual Hispanic and Latino communities in the New York metropolitan area. FH® Consumer Classroom, available on iOS and Android, 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 Latino communities and collaborated with organizations that work with these specific target audiences to promote the app.
A report with project findings was published in July 2022 and can be found here.
NY HOST Español (Healthcare Online Shopping Tool) – 2017-2019
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 Latino 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) – 2015-2018
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 – 2016-2017
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, which was designed to provide educational materials about health insurance literacy and support healthcare engagement among Connecticut residents. The app allowed consumers to estimate the costs of medical and dental services performed in Connecticut and neighboring states, offered educational articles that explained health insurance and directed users to community resources.
Healthcare Engagement for Latino Populations (HELP) – 2015-2016
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) featured 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.
FAIR Health Collaboration with West Health and Johns Hopkins University – 2020
FAIR Health partnered with West Health to leverage its data assets to examine COVID-19 patient comorbidities, risk factors and outcomes. This project was 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 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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