New Yorkers can compare healthcare

 

FAIR Health has launched a website, YouCanPlanForThis.org, aimed at transforming how people in New York State engage in healthcare planning.

A next-generation transparency tool, the free site gives New Yorkers unprecedented access to accurate medical and dental costs and comprehensive educational resources, so they can plan financially for a procedure or episode of care.

FAIR Health developed YouCanPlanForThis.org by building on its existing, award-winning consumer website and mobile app, with the support of the New York State Health Foundation.

Objective and easy to use, YouCanPlanForThis.org arms patients with vital information they can use when planning and managing their healthcare costs. By entering their zip codes in the cost lookup tool, which is powered by FAIR Health's database of billions of billed medical and dental claims, they can estimate their medical or dental expenses for particular procedures in their geographic areas. The tool takes into account whether they are insured or uninsured—and if insured, whether they are staying in network or going out of network.

Patients with high-deductible health plans can use the site's allowed amounts based on average negotiated in-network rates, to estimate how much they will have to pay their in-network providers for care before they meet their deductibles. By comparing the average negotiated in-network amount with providers' typical billed charges on the site, patients also can decide whether to initiate discussions with out-of-network healthcare providers about the costs of their care.

The new site also allows patients to research the total and itemised costs of 25 common bundles of care that involve multiple procedures related to a single medical condition, such as diabetes, or a planned procedure, such as a hip replacement. Each episode of care is explained by an educational video.

For 100 frequently performed procedures, YouCanPlanForThis.org features provider listings with information about providers' practices, hospital affiliations and prices, among other items.

The site includes details on insurance basics with topics that include negotiating costs, women's healthcare and using the New York State of Health exchange to select a plan. The site also provides links to external resources such as healthcare provider directories and programmes that help consumers to understand their insurance. It also explains how to use healthcare quality measures to make informed decisions about care.

In February 2018, FAIR Health will launch the second phase of the YouCanPlanForThis.org website with specific quality metrics and pricing information for common outpatient procedures performed in hospitals in four geographic regions in the state.

FAIR Health has re-launched its original consumer site, fairhealthconsumer.org, to provide on a national basis many of the features of the New York-based site. The national site now includes in-network as well as out-of-network rates, episodes of care and expanded educational resources.

FAIR Health is a national, independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data, consumer resources and health systems research support.

FAIR Health oversees the nation's largest collection of healthcare claims data, which includes a repository of over 24 billion billed medical and dental procedures that reflect the claims experience of over 150 million privately insured individuals, and separate data representing the experience of more than 55 million individuals enrolled in Medicare.

FAIR Health receives all of Medicare Parts A, B and D claims data for use in nationwide transparency efforts. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualisations, custom analytics, episodes of care analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others.

FAIR Health uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish and as an English/Spanish mobile app, which enable consumers to estimate and plan their healthcare expenditures and get information on health insurance.

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