Using almost $100 million it received in settlement money from insurers, the state of New York created a not-for-profit company and an independent research network to develop a database and Web site that patients can use to compare prices for healthcare services, New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced.
The company is called Fair Health and the research network will be headquartered at Syracuse University, but will also include Cornell University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, SUNY Upstate Medical University and the University of Rochester. It will be led by Deborah Freund, a professor of public administration at Syracuse University.
Fair Health and the research network also will create a consumer Web site so patients can calculate how much they will be reimbursed for out-of-network healthcare services in their area, a news release said.
The settlement money was the result of an investigation into insurance company use of “the defective and conflict-ridden Ingenix database,” which was used to set nationwide reimbursement rates for out-of-network services and skewed rates downward “through faulty data collection, poor pooling procedures and the lack of audits,” according to the news release.