FAIR Health Launches Shared Decision-Making Tools for Palliative Care

Categories: Care and Education.

Groundbreaking Decision Tools Pair Clinical and Cost Information for Patients with Serious and Chronic Illness.

NEW YORK, NY—March 10, 2020—Today FAIR Health launched a groundbreaking website feature that combines clinical and cost information to support seriously and chronically ill patients and their caregivers in the process of shared decision making (SDM) with clinicians for three palliative care scenarios.

The new feature is the most recent addition to fairhealthconsumer.org, FAIR Health’s free, award-winning consumer website, which enables consumers to estimate the typical costs of medical and dental procedures in their geographic areas and provides rich educational materials on the fundamentals of health insurance. 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 provides the cost data for the new SDM feature, fairhealthconsumer.org/shared-decision- making.

SDM, the discussion between patients/caregivers and healthcare providers regarding various treatment options, has been known to increase patient engagement and reduce healthcare costs. But in the past, the utility of SDM tools, or decision aids, has been limited by the absence of cost data to complement the clinical information. As part of a pilot generously funded by The New York Community Trust (The Trust), the new SDM tool combines cost data from FAIR Health with Option Grid™ decision aids from EBSCO Information Services, cofounded by Dr. Glyn Elwyn, BA, MD, MSc, PhD, professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.

Intended to support the conversation between clinicians and patients/caregivers, and designed for ease of use, the decision aids offer clinical and cost information related to:

  • Kidney dialysis for patients with kidney failure (whether to continue or stop);
  • Nutrition options when swallowing is difficult; and
  • Breathing assistance (whether to continue or stop).

FAIR Health will collaborate with organizations and professionals who provide palliative care services in the New York metropolitan area in order to promote awareness of this resource. The project will also include an evaluation of the SDM tools to help inform future initiatives and tools.

FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “The new shared decision-making tool on FAIR Health Consumer is a natural extension of our commitment to cost transparency and to helping consumers navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. We look forward to assisting patients and their caregivers as they make serious decisions in consultation with their clinicians.”

Irfan Hasan, Program Director of Health and Behavioral Health at The Trust, commented: “Palliative care decisions in cases of serious and chronic illness are fraught with emotional and personal significance.

The Trust is proud to support FAIR Health’s efforts to aid those decisions.”

Diane E. Meier, MD, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, stated: “Having witnessed the need for clear and accurate information when making critical health decisions during chronic and serious illness, I am heartened by FAIR Health’s effort to promote shared decision making for patients and caregivers when they most need clarity and guidance.”

Follow FAIRHealth on Twitter @FAIRHealth

About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization 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 30 billion claim records contributed by payors and administrators who insure or process claims for private insurance plans covering more than 150 million individuals. 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 houses data on Medicare Advantage enrollees in its private claims data repository. 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 and an English/Spanish mobile app, which enable consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offer a rich educational platform on health insurance. 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 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.

About The New York Community Trust
The New York Community Trust is a public charity and a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City and its suburbs. It brings together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to build a better community and support nonprofits that make a difference. It applies knowledge, creativity, and resources to the most challenging issues in an effort to ensure meaningful opportunities and a better quality of life for all New Yorkers, today and tomorrow.