National Story Contest Creates Collaboration in Order to Provide Best Care at Lowest Cost

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Clinician Led Non-Profit ‘Costs of Care’, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Yale New Haven Health System and Strata Decision Technology Launch ‘The Best Care, The Lowest Cost: One Idea at a Time.’

Costs of Care has demonstrated that those of us on the frontlines of healthcare delivery see routine opportunities to make healthcare more affordable every day

Costs of Care, a clinician led non-profit, has partnered with a number of leading stakeholders to launch The Best Care, The Lowest Cost: One Idea at a Time, a National Story Contest inviting patients, clinicians and hospital administrators to share real stories of successes and failures in pursuit of affordable healthcare. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, half of Americans have identified the affordability of basic medical care as a hardship. The National Story Contest seeks to highlight key insights into clinician and administrator partnerships across the country.

“Over the years, Costs of Care has demonstrated that those of us on the frontlines of healthcare delivery see routine opportunities to make healthcare more affordable every day. I’m thrilled by this opportunity to bring patients, nurses, physicians, financial administrators, and others, into a common conversation,” said Neel Shah, M.D., Executive Director at Costs of Care and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Supported by leading organizations representing patients, clinicians, administrators and technology, the National Story Contest will collect stories from individuals or small teams, in writing or via video. The focus is experiences that illustrate the challenges and opportunities to make healthcare more affordable. The contest deadline is Sept. 28, 2015.

“While both clinicians and hospital administrators want to and need to address this waste and bend the cost curve, it is a daily struggle to keep healthcare costs down while trying to deliver high quality care,” stated Tom Balcezak, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at Yale - New Haven Hospital, the lead academic medical center partner for this initiative. “While progress is being made, the challenge is that those ideas and experiences aren’t being shared. It’s time to change that.”    

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the nation’s largest group for healthcare finance leaders with over 40,000 members, is also a key supporter in this initiative and a valuable partner for the contest. "At HFMA, we believe that now is the time to bring all stakeholders to the table to share knowledge and best practices, and to identify opportunities to collaborate to deliver more value. This contest couldn’t come at a more critical time for our industry," said Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, President and Chief Executive Officer of HFMA.

Five thousand dollars in prizes will be awarded to the winning entry determined with the help of five judges:

  •     Tara Montgomery, Director of Health Impact at Consumer Reports
  •     Tom Balcezak, MD, MPH; Chief Medical Officer at Yale - New Haven Hospital
  •     Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA; President and Chief Executive Officer at HFMA
  •     Neel Shah, MD, MPP; Founder and Executive Director at Costs of Care
  •     Dan Michelson, MBA; Chief Executive Officer at Strata Decision Technology

The winner will be officially announced at the 2015 Strata Decision Summit in Chicago on Nov. 3, 2015. In addition, the winner and other top contest entries will be highlighted in a new open source e-book that will be shared for free with healthcare leaders across the country. Preference will be given to stories and videos that best articulate real-world experiences and to simple yet innovative ideas that can become part of the solution to the cost crisis. Contest submissions should be submitted on the Costs of Care website at

“Finance and clinicians haven’t consistently collaborated to reduce costs, or even to discuss the problem,” said Dan Michelson, CEO at Strata Decision Technology. “The data is now there to take action and open sourcing this conversation represents an incredible opportunity for our industry to drive and deliver value.”

For more information on the contest or Costs of Care, please visit

Costs of Care is a nonprofit that has become one of the nation’s most powerful voices for physicians, nurses and patients to share their experiences on personal impact of the cost of healthcare. Led by Dr. Neel Shah, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing physician, Costs of Care sources, curates, and disseminates ideas from the frontlines of healthcare delivery that can drive better care at lower cost.

Yale New Haven Health System, through its Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich and Northeast Medical Group Delivery Networks, provides comprehensive, cost effective, advanced patient care characterized by safety and clinical and service quality. Yale New Haven Health System, in affiliation with the Yale School of Medicine and other universities and colleges, educates health professionals and advances clinical care. In all of its work, YNHHS is committed to the communities it has the privilege of serving.

With more than 40,000 members, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is the nation's premier membership organization for healthcare finance leaders. HFMA builds and supports coalitions with other healthcare associations and industry groups to achieve consensus on solutions for the challenges the U.S. healthcare system faces today. Working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, HFMA identifies gaps throughout the healthcare delivery system and bridges them through the establishment and sharing of knowledge and best practices. We help healthcare stakeholders achieve optimal results by creating and providing education, analysis, and practical tools and solutions. Our mission is to lead the financial management of health care.

Strata Decision Technology provides an innovative cloud-based financial analytics and performance platform that is used by healthcare providers for financial planning, decision support and continuous cost improvement. Founded in 1996, the Company's customer base includes 1,000 hospitals and many of the largest and most influential healthcare delivery systems in the U.S. The Company’s StrataJazz® application is a single integrated software platform that includes modules for capital planning, contract modeling, cost accounting, cost management, decision support, financial forecasting, management reporting, operational budgeting and performance improvement and strategic planning. The Company's headquarters are in Chicago, IL. For more information, please visit

Neel Shah, MD, MPP, (617) 841-8581, neel(at)costsofcare(dot)org
Steve Allegretto, (203) 688-5593, Stephen.Allegretto(at)ynhh(dot)org
Karen Thomas, (708) 492-3377, kthomas(at)hfma(dot)org

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Costs of Care
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