The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide up to $1.9 million to researchers and their clinical partners in an attempt to better evaluate how consumers define "value" in new healthcare delivery models such as telemedicine, and how those definitions may differ from providers' perceptions.

"While 'value' is typically defined as outcomes relative to costs, individual consumers’ valuation of health care services may not align with how insurers, hospitals, providers, or even other consumers perceive high-value care or outcomes," RWJF executives said. "The consumer perspective may be more expansive, encompassing the convenience and accessibility of services or the empathy felt in the doctor-patient relationship, in addition to more conventional measures of value. Understanding the consumer point of view is essential, particularly in terms of the cost, quality or other information that would be relevant when consumers seek care, buy and use insurance, and shop for health care services."

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