Combining Clinical and Cost Information to Advance Shared Decision-Making
Empowering Health Care Consumers
April 30, 2021
For NYSHealth, health equity is achieved when all people have the opportunities and resources they need to be as healthy as possible and no one is disadvantaged.
But in practice, patients—particularly people of color—are often marginalized rather than placed at the center of the health care system. Although all patients should be valued as partners, patients of color can face unique obstacles, including racism, bias, mistrust, and gaps in communication between patients and physicians. Engaging patients of color is an important step toward the development of a more equitable health system. To help ensure that patients’ priorities, preferences, and experiences guide efforts to create a more equitable health care system, NYSHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), “Patients as Partners: Advancing Equity.” Through this RFP, NYSHealth is supporting projects that seek to implement system improvements, practice innovations, or interventions designed to give patients of color a meaningful role in their health care. In 2021, NYSHealth awarded FAIR Health a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, FAIR Health will pilot shared decision-making approaches that are especially relevant to patients of color. Shared decision-making—the process in which clinicians and patients work together to make decisions—can better engage patients as partners in their health care. In collaboration with Dr. Chima Ndumele, an Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health and a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, FAIR Health will develop and disseminate shared decision-making tools that combine clinical topics and cost information. The project team will partner with patients to focus on health care issues that are particularly important to communities of color, such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, and uterine fibroids. FAIR Health will conduct outreach and focus groups to assess the most pressing needs and concerns of patients of color when navigating the health care system. Relevant and culturally sensitive tools and educational content will then be tailored and implemented for shared decision-making. A broad range of New York State health care and community partners—including patient advocacy groups, survivor groups, hospital systems and associations, medical societies, and individual health care providers of color—will be engaged to promote and use the tools in practice. FAIR Health will disseminate the tools on its consumer website and social media, through train-the-trainer sessions, and with patient ambassadors and champions. Additionally, a report will be developed to highlight key program learnings and recommendations for advancing shared decision-making among communities of color.