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Avalere Launches Podcast Series for Clinicians on How to Talk to Patients About Costs of Care

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In February, Avalere is releasing a 4-part podcast series that focuses on how clinicians and other care team members can improve the quality and frequency of cost-of-care conversations with patients.

What Are Cost-of-Care Conversations?

Cost-of-care (CoC) conversations are discussions between patients and clinicians regarding the costs that patients and their families incur, including out-of-pocket and indirect costs (e.g., transportation, child care, and lost wages). Read more about why CoC conversations are important.

What is the Aim of the Podcast Series?

The aim of this podcast series is to provide clinicians and other care team members with actionable insights on how to improve the quality and frequency of CoC conversations.

Episode 1

“Why Should Primary Care Clinicians Routinely Talk with Their Patients About the Expected Costs of Care?”


  • Gwen Darien, Executive Vice President for Patient Advocacy, National Patient Advocate Foundation
  • James T. Hardee, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Episode 2

“Quick Tips for Clinicians on How to Talk with Patients About the Expected Costs of Care”


  • Susan Perez, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, California State University, Sacramento
  • Maria Pisu, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Preventive Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Episode 3

“A Guide to Integrating Cost-of-Care Conversations into Workflow”


  • Nora Henrikson, PhD, MPH, Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Episode 4

“Recommendations for How to Overcome Common Barriers when Implementing Cost-of-Care Conversations”


  • Peter Ubel, MD, Professor of Business, Public Policy and Medicine, Duke University

Support for this work was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundations.

About the Cost Conversation Project

In 2016, the RWJF, in partnership with Avalere, launched the Cost Conversation projects and provided $1.9 million to 8 grantees to support their research and development of resources, messages, workflows, and other principles for improving CoC conversations between patients and their care teams. On behalf of RWJF, Avalere conducted foundational research to understand the key steps necessary to improve CoC conversations and developed a paradigm for further research. At the conclusion of the grantees’ projects, Avalere worked with the RWJF project grantees to develop 7 Practice Briefs to act as actionable resources for clinicians, staff, and practice administrators interested in increasing the value and frequency of CoC conversations in the clinical setting. The briefs synthesize learnings from across the grantees’ research and cover topics such as welcoming and structuring CoC conversations; talking to patients about the hidden costs of healthcare; facilitation CoC conversations with vulnerable patients; integrating CoC conversations into the clinical workflow; and addressing common barriers to implementation.

About the NYSHealth Connecting Consumers to Information Initiative

In 2018, NYSHealth awarded Avalere a grant to build on the lessons learned from the RWJF Cost Conversation projects and support a new initiative to put price and quality tools into the hands of healthcare providers and to spread the uptake of information tools by consumers. For this initiative, NYSHealth provided grants to 2 associations of primary-care physicians in New York State: the New York Chapter American College of Physicians and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. Avalere has provided ongoing support to the associations in their projects with technical assistance and subject-matter expertise, and developed a webinar with NYSHealth to engage the associations’ members on both the importance of CoC conversations and how to make these conversations a normal part of their practices.

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