MR imaging was most searched medical term regarding cost in 2023, says FAIR Health

February 15, 2024
NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2023, users of FAIR Health's free, award-winning consumer website,, sought guidance on how to minimize their healthcare costs, obtain coverage for alternative medicine and request in-network coverage for certain out-of-network services. Original articles such as "Negotiating your costs" and "When out-of-network care can be covered in network" were among the most frequently visited educational topics on FAIR Health Consumer. In addition, consumers demonstrated an appetite for cost information on radiology and emergency services, as well as services related to tooth infection/damage and orthodontics. Other insights into search habits and user demographics in 2023 can be found in FAIR Health's annual infographic on consumer website analytics.

For the 12th consecutive year, FAIR Health and its consumer website won several eHealthcare Leadership Awards for being reliable sources of healthcare information. In 2023, FAIR Health received seven awards, including the Mark Gothberg eHealthcare Organizational Commitment Award, the highest honor awarded, which recognizes industry leadership, innovation and commitment.

Top Medical and Dental Search Terms
FAIR Health Consumer's cost lookup tools allow users to estimate costs for medical and dental care by procedure and geographic location.

In 2023, the top five medical terms searched with the medical cost lookup tool were:

CT scan;
Ultrasound; and
Emergency room.
Between 2022 and 2023, "MRI" climbed from third to first place on the list of top medical terms searched on the consumer website. In its stead, "CT scan" ranked as the third most frequently searched term, despite not appearing on the list in 2022. Additionally, "emergency" and "emergency room" were included on the list, exhibiting consumers' interest in understanding costs related to emergency services.

In 2023, the top five dental terms searched with the medical cost lookup tool were:

Root canal;
Extraction; and
The top dental terms were the same in 2022, with the exception of "braces," which replaced "crowns" on the list in 2023.

Age and Gender
The breakdown of age groups that visited FAIR Health Consumer in 2023 was similar to that of 2022, with 25-34-year-olds making up the largest share of website users—their third year in a row as the largest age group. The age distribution of FAIR Health Consumer users in 2023 was:

18-24: 16 percent;
25-34: 23 percent;
35-44: 22 percent;
45-54: 17 percent;
55-64: 13 percent; and
65+: 9 percent.
In 2023, 54 percent of FAIR Health Consumer users were female, 46 percent male. Though women continue to outnumber men among FAIR Health Consumer users, the percentage who were male grew since 2022, when 45 percent of users were male.

Top User Locations
The top five states from which visits to FAIR Health Consumer originated in 2023 were:

New York;
Florida; and
Though these states were included on the list in 2022, they appeared in a different order. In 2023, California and Texas rose above New York, which was number one on the list of top consumer website user locations in 2022. In addition, Florida and Virginia swapped places in 2023, respectively ranking fifth and fourth on the list in 2022.

Most Popular Educational Topics
FAIR Health Consumer features a rich array of FH® Insurance Basics, which are original articles and videos that explain complex healthcare topics in easy-to-understand language. The most popular topics from this library in 2023 were:

When out-of-network care can be covered in network;
Negotiating your costs;
How to review your medical bill;
Healthcare services not covered by health insurance; and
Getting covered for alternative medicine.
From 2022 to 2023, FAIR Health's consumer website analytics captured a notable shift in the most popular educational topics. "When out-of-network care can be covered in network," "Healthcare services not covered by health insurance" and "Getting covered for alternative medicine" did not appear among the most popular educational topics in 2022. "Negotiating your costs" dropped from first to second place on the list, while "How to review your medical bill" rose from fifth to third place.

Top Decision Aids
FAIR Health Consumer saw the addition of several shared decision-making tools in 2023. Shared decision making—the discussion among patients, their caregivers and clinicians to decide on treatment based on clinical options and patient preferences and values—is facilitated by decision aids, which present treatment options for specific clinical conditions or scenarios. The groundbreaking decision aids on FAIR Health Consumer integrate cost estimates with the clinical information. In 2023, the top decision aids on FAIR Health Consumer were:

Type 2 diabetes;
Slow-growing prostate cancer;
Ventilator for people who are seriously ill;
Uterine fibroids—medication options; and
Kidney dialysis.
This list features decision aids developed in connection with three separate grant projects: (1) an initiative to advance shared decision making for scenarios related to palliative care, funded by The New York Community Trust; (2) an initiative to advance shared decision making for conditions pertinent to patients of color, funded by the New York Health Foundation; and (3) an initiative to advance shared decision making for conditions particularly relevant to older adults, funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

Most Frequently Visited Total Treatment Cost Bundles
FAIR Health Consumer's medical cost lookup tool provides access to FH® Total Treatment Cost bundles. With these, users can view the typical costs for all components of care for certain chronic and acute conditions and event-based procedures. The most frequently visited bundles in 2023 were:

Vaginal delivery;
ADHD and hyperkinetic syndrome; and
Rheumatoid arthritis.
In 2023, consumers showed a strong interest in identifying costs for giving birth, with vaginal delivery and C-section ranking as the two most frequently visited total treatment cost bundles. Cost scenarios not included on the list in 2022, but included in 2023, were colonoscopy and ADHD and hyperkinetic syndrome, which replaced hysterectomy and knee arthroscopy. Rheumatoid arthritis was one of the most utilized FH Total Treatment Cost bundles in both years but fell from third place in 2022 to fifth place in 2023.

About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation's largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 44 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of over 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytic reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payors and other authorized users. FAIR Health's systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 Type 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated in statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers' compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for surprise out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offers a rich educational platform on health insurance. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to the cost estimation tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger's Personal Finance.