Harnessing the Power of Consumers

Engaging Massachusetts consumers in containing health care cost growth

Dates of Project: July 15, 2011 through July 14, 2014

Description: Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) educated leaders from its member organizations and the wider public about the importance of controlling health care costs while maintaining quality. Educational activities included small group sessions with faith congregations, webinars, a public forum, a public health conference, and other trainings.

“There is now a body of consumers in Greater Boston who feel like they can engage intelligently with the key stakeholders around a series of questions related to controlling the growth of costs in this health care market.”—Project Director Larry Gordon

Key Results

  • Consumers educated by GBIO identified a set of preliminary questions to help guide the development of principles for a statewide cost review process. Topics included how to reduce costs without shifting the burden to lowest-income patients and whether global payments should be favored over a fee-for-service approach.

  • A “groundswell” of consumer sentiment about the twin goals of controlling health care costs and maintaining quality grew out of GBIO’s education efforts. Project staff believe this had a significant impact on the structure of health care cost containment in Massachusetts.

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Greater Boston Interfaith Organization educates consumers to help contain healthcare costs in Massachusetts