The national, independent nonprofit FAIR Health, in collaboration with Dr. Chima Ndumele, a professor at Yale University and a member of the FAIR Health Academic Advisory Board, launched four new groundbreaking shared decision-making tools today. The initiative, supported by a generous grant from the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), seeks to advance shared decision making between patients of color and their healthcare providers through decision aids that pertain to conditions that disproportionately affect minority populations.
FAIR Health launched the tools, which pair FAIR Health’s cost information with EBSCO Option Grid™ decision aids, on its free, award-winning consumer platform, fairhealthconsumer.org. The tools offer clinical options—and show the associated costs—for type 2 diabetes, uterine fibroids (separately, medication options and procedural options) and slow-growing prostate cancer. Along with these new tools, FAIR Health Consumer also features new educational content about the three conditions, patient-oriented checklists with suggested questions that patients can ask their providers and links to external resources relevant to the three conditions. The decision aids, checklists and patient resources, along with content tailored toward providers, are also available on fairhealthprovider.org, a provider-oriented platform with educational content on how to facilitate shared decision-making discussions with patients. FAIR Health Provider was launched in 2021 with funding from The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.
Shared decision making, or the discussion between clinicians and patients and/or their patient caregivers to decide on treatment options that incorporate patient values and preferences, has been shown to increase patient engagement and satisfaction, reduce healthcare costs and improve treatment outcomes. Decision aids are commonly used to facilitate shared decision-making discussions. However, most decision aids do not include information about costs related to the condition. The tools created with support from NYSHealth offer both clinical options for the conditions and estimated costs for those options based on FAIR Health’s private healthcare claims database, which includes over 36 billion claim records from all 50 states and Washington, DC. By providing cost estimates related to each of the clinical options featured in the decision aids, patients can obtain a fuller view of the financial aspect of each treatment option, and thereby have more informed decision-making discussions with their healthcare providers. FAIR Health will disseminate the tools to patients, patient/consumer advocates, community organizations and healthcare providers and organizations throughout New York State.
Dr. Ndumele said, “Shared decision-making conversations are vital to advancing patient self-advocacy and more engaged and informed healthcare decision making. The tools that FAIR Health has launched, along with the accompanying educational content, will help patients of color have those important shared decision-making conversations.”
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd added, “We thank the New York State Health Foundation’s generous support of this endeavor. In keeping with FAIR Health’s consumer-oriented mission, we believe that this initiative will empower patients of color to engage in shared decision-making discussions regarding relevant treatment options with their healthcare providers.”
NYSHealth President and CEO David Sandman said, “Patients, especially people of color, have often been marginalized rather than placed at the center of the healthcare system. FAIR Health’s decision aids are a step toward a more equitable healthcare system by equipping patients of color with the clinical and cost information they need to make informed decisions with their healthcare providers.”
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation’s largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 36 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of over 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytic reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payors and other authorized users. FAIR Health’s systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated in statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers’ compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for surprise out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offers a rich educational platform on health insurance. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to the cost estimation tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. FAIR Health also is named a top resource for patients in Dr. Marty Makary’s book The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It and Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal’s book An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back. For more information on FAIR Health, visit fairhealth.org.
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