March 12, 2015


Do Americans Want More Information About Health Care Costs? 


Late last month, the Health Care Cost Institute, in partnership with a number of major insurance companies, debuted a new online platform to help patients better understand what health care services will cost them before they pay for treatment. The platform, called Guroo, is part of a growing trend toward making prices of health care transparent to the people who use it.


Yet while the number of price transparency websites, apps and other resources is growing, little if any research has been done into what the public thinks about price transparency. Are they seeking information about the cost of health care already, and if so, how? Are they making use of existing resources? Do people want this information?


Next week, we will release new findings that look into the knowledge, behavior and attitudes of the American public with respect to price transparency in health care. These findings come from a nationally representative survey supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


We don't want to give too much away, but we can tell you that findings indicate the majority of Americans have attempted to find information about how much health care will cost them before receiving treatment. Even those Americans who did not seek price information say they would be interested in knowing this information.


The research suggests that, as people are shouldering more health care costs, they do want more and better information about what they'll spend. At the same time, they seem torn on whether or not it's reasonable to expect people to compare prices before getting care.


If you're interested in receiving the full survey results, be sure you're signed up to receive alerts about our health care work. You can do that by updating your mailing list preferences here - just be sure to click the box next to "Health Care Updates."


If you have any questions or comments about the forthcoming research, you can respond directly to this email and our communications team will field your query.


PA in the News

A collection of stories citing work from Public Agenda, our Board and our partners. 

Organization Brings Together Health and Marketing Experts to Change the Conversation on Health in the U.S. Using Power of Media 


Our current Board Member and former President Ruth Wooden is also the Vice-Chair of the Public Good Projects, an organization focused on transforming health by bringing together experts in media and marketing.

Shortlist for Hayek Book Prize

(Manhattan Institute for Policy Research)

Board Member Philip Howard's book, The Rule of Nobody, has been recognized as a finalist for the Friedrich Hayek Prize administered by The Manhattan Institute. Here's a recent podcast interview about the award and a piece penned by Howard in The Fiscal Times. 

Consider structure, advantages of competency-based programs

(Dean & Provost) [subscriber content]

In 2012, there were only about 20 of these programs offered, said Alison Kadlec, our Senior Vice President and Director of Higher Education and Workforce programs. Currently, at least 200 programs which replace 'seat time' as a measure for learning are available. 


WKU Joins Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)

(Western Kentucky University)

C-BEN announced the addition of 13 institutions and two public systems representing 40 campuses last month. "The new members, like WKU, are high-caliber institutions, and we are looking forward to working with them," said Alison Kadlec.

Public Agenda is a nonprofit organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate divisive, complex issues. Through nonpartisan research and engagement, it provides people with the insights and support they need to arrive at workable solutions on critical issues, regardless of their differences. Since 1975, Public Agenda has helped foster progress on K-12 and higher education reform, health care, federal and local budgets, energy and immigration. Find Public Agenda online at

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