Research Funding

RJWF Expanding Cost Conversations

Cost of health care remains a significant barrier for a large portion of the population-even for individuals who have low cost sharing through their health plan. In a 2018 national survey, 64% of patients reported they have delayed or skipped care within the past year because the cost would be too high.

RWJF is funding new research to test emerging best practices for increasing the frequency and quality of conversations about cost between clinicians and patients, which is one promising strategy for addressing patients’ cost concerns. Cost of care conversations can also give clinicians a better understanding of patients’ social needs, such as housing and transportation, that affect their ability to access care.

This research will call attention to consumer perspectives and focus on populations most at risk of suffering health inequities. Up to $2.4 million is available.

Start your application today >

Do you have questions about the application process, deadline, or who should apply? Attend the applicant webinar on September 6, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET.

LOI Deadline:  September 30, 2019 
Application Deadline: December 9, 2019


The goal of the program is to conduct original research and test emerging best practices for increasing the frequency and quality of conversations about the costs of care. This work takes a broad definition of costs, including out-of-pocket costs to patients, and attention to indirect costs of receiving treatment, such as child care, time away from work, and transportation to medical appointments. Our focus on cost conversations is in service to the Foundation’s broader goals for health equity: that all people in America have a fair and just opportunity to live a healthier life. To help ensure this, the medical care system can play its role in removing barriers to opportunity in one way, by devoting attention to financial hardship associated with receiving optimal care.

Studies funded under this call for proposals should include attention to consumer perspectives, and attention to differential effects of interventions across populations at risk for health inequities, such as low-income populations, people of color, immigrants, and other groups who may experience discrimination.

Specifically, this program intends to fund studies that can build the evidence base in order to advance the following goals:

  • Providers and care teams become more effective at discussing costs of care, and can connect patients with appropriate resources to make care more affordable.
  • Patients feel supported by provider systems in addressing cost concerns when they make care decisions, have a financial need, and/or need to plan for upcoming costs.
  • Policymakers and health care leaders are aware of the barriers that current policy creates in supporting cost conversations, and know what to do to address those barriers.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Researchers as well as practitioners and public and private policymakers working with researchers, are eligible to submit proposals through their organizations. Projects may be generated from disciplines including health services research; economics; sociology; anthropology; psychology; program evaluation; political science; public policy; public health; public administration; law; business administration; and other related fields.
  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

Total Awards

  • Up to $2.4 million will be available under this CFP.
  • Project funding can be up to $400,000 each to accommodate studies of 24 months.
  • Up to six studies will be funded.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.