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Costs of Care: Getting the Patient-Clinician Conversation Right

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Avalere Supports the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Issuing Two Calls for Proposals
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As out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare spending has sharply increased over the past decade, healthcare costs are becoming a growing point of concern in household budgets and a source of financial pressure for consumers in general. Though there has been a recent spread of price transparency tools in the healthcare space, patients continue to face difficulties knowing the costs of healthcare services before they receive them and how they relate to the appropriateness and quality of their care. Both patients and clinicians report wanting to openly talk about healthcare costs, however, research has shown that they face several barriers engaging in cost conversations. An infographic summarizing Avalere research – conducted on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) – outlined six priority areas for improving cost-of-care conversations between patients and clinicians.

Today, to build on this research, RWJF has issued two calls for proposals (CFPs). Avalere worked with RWJF to develop these CFPs, and will also be providing technical assistance to the selected project grantees. These CFPs make $1.9 million available in funding for proposals aiming to develop and/or test best practices, messages, and other principles for improving conversations between patients and clinicians around the costs-of-care. One CFP focuses on how to improve these conversations specifically for vulnerable populations. For example, exploring best practices for engaging in cost conversations with patients having low financial/health literacy and diminished trust in the healthcare system; and how best practices might vary depending on care setting, the type of care being provided, and patient demographics. The second CFP focuses on testing best practices for how cost conversation tools can best be embedded into the clinical workflow, and the patient’s “life flow” as they move through the case continuum. For example, this CFP aims to test best practices for incorporating cost conversation tools into electronic health records (EHRs), and for using a team-based approach to these conversations.

The applicant deadline for both CFPs is on Wednesday, July 27th, with grants beginning on Thursday, December 1st.

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