R3 Grantees 2022
We prioritize making research relevant and ready by providing a unique grant opportunity to our network of researchers by providing financial support to secure expertise from unconventional disciplines needed to move research into practice. Our R3 Grant Program is only open to our current or former Donaghue grantees to scale, implement, and disseminate their original research. This grant opportunity has an award of up to $80,000 (plus a 10% indirect), and a grant term of 18 months. In 2022, the foundation invested over $175,000 through two new grant awards.
Bryan Dowd, PhD, MS
University of Minnesota
“Developing and Disseminating an Informed Consumer Choice Model for Health System Transformation”
Tim McDonald, MPP
Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation, and Visiting Researcher, Harvard Program on Negotiation
Consumer-oriented reforms such as price transparency have great promise and appeal but are not typically combined with data on practice styles (quantities of services), quality of care, or strong financial incentives for consumers to choose more efficient providers. They believe this is partly because the policy approach has been fragmented, focusing on individual pieces rather than being integrated into a coherent health insurance benefit design, as in the State Employees Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) system. Approaches such as tiered cost sharing and reference pricing have a set of features that make them especially appealing: 1) they tell the consumer where to find lower-cost care; 2) they share the savings with consumers who choose lower-cost providers (thus creating an incentive to choose lower-cost providers); 3) due to their influence on consumers’ choices among clinics, they incent clinic managers to become more efficient; and 4) both tiered cost-sharing and reference pricing contribute to coordination by putting someone (or some organization) in charge of the total cost and content of the patient’s care. The purpose of this project is to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based model for consumer-driven health reform integrating these different component pieces and, through strategic dissemination, engage key stakeholders in positions to implement it. Their proposed project has two objectives: 1) develop a comprehensive, evidence-based consumer choice health plan model ready for adoption, and 2) disseminate the model and seek opportunities to implement it. To achieve these objectives, the project is divided into two parts. Part one is creating a prototype model they call Informed Consumer Choice, informed by the best available science and evidence led by our recent Donaghue-sponsored work. Part two is a plan for active and thoughtful dissemination. This first part of the project aims to develop an evidence-based prototype ready for adoption by interested parties. They will create an infographic showing each component of the ICC system, a description of how it works, and citations to evidence supporting the model. They will work to identify a minimum of one health plan willing to develop a prototype product built off the system. This second part of the project aims to raise awareness of the model among policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders; and identify employers or leaders of public health plans interested in potentially applying the model. Their approach is organized into five key components, from web-based tools to translational writing and design. They will also write a paper explaining the program’s design and its appeal, including identifying the most important design elements; organizational capabilities; and key differentiators that make this model uniquely appealing—inclusive of explanations on where and how it could be improved upon, and its practicality to be used in a variety of settings. Lastly, they plan to produce a policy memo translating the lessons from their research and discussions for policymakers to circulate widely.
Kathrene Valentine, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
“Engaging Patients Through Community Outreach
The original Donaghue-funded project focused on intervening at the orthopedic department or specialist level, but this project will move upstream. With the help of their team of experts, they will engage with the local Spanish-speaking communities using a two-pronged approach that targets primary care providers at CHCs and Spanish-speaking social media users in their direct-to-consumer media intervention. This will encourage primary care providers to engage patients earlier in their decision process to ensure they are informed and involved in their care for their hip or knee pain. Their motivation for working with CHCs is that patients may have a more established trusting relationship with their primary care team, and getting the decision aids (DAs) from them may result in higher use. Additionally, CHCs are often located within minority communities and are the first contact for care due to their strategic location, which removes barriers such as transportation and lack of time, among others. They will engage with CHCs that are part of the MGB system (e.g., Chelsea Healthcare Center) and have access to the DAs. They will also engage the primary care clinicians at their team meeting and discuss how they work with patients for these conditions, inform them about the DA resources and how to use them best, identify other strategies they have used in the past with their patients that have been successful, and co-design strategies to reach patients from these communities. Based on known barriers and facilitators, the consultants and study staff team will create effective messaging and co-design a social media intervention. The media intervention will be determined by the consultants and will focus on a social media campaign (e.g. YouTube, Twitter) to help inform and engage Spanish-speaking patients in the Boston area. They will work with the marketing firm to identify additional opportunities for future dissemination and expansion to other audiences.