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Expanding Cost Conversations Between Patients and Their Providers

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Public Entities for Research that
Leads to More Effective Communication Regarding Costs of Care

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/09/19 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories researchers and policymakers from nonprofit organizations and public entities for research related to costs of care discussions. A letter of inquiry is required prior to submission of a full application. Funding is intended to strengthen the evidence base on how to optimize cost conversations and integrate them into clinical practice more frequently.

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. The 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.

Grant funds may be used for project staff salaries, consultant fees, data collection and analysis, meetings, supplies, project-related travel, and other direct project expenses, including a limited amount of equipment essential to the project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186802

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to six studies will be funded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project funding can be up to $400,000 each to accommodate studies of 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- 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.

Not funded:
- In keeping with RWJF policy, grant funds may not be used to subsidize individuals for the costs of their health care, to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for lobbying, for political activities, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be an informational webinar on September 6, 2019, at 2:00 PM.

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

- September 6, 2019 (2:00 PM ET): Optional applicant web conference
- September 30, 2019 (3:00 PM ET): Deadline for receipt of letters of intent
- October 28, 2019: Full proposals invited
- December 9, 2019 (3:00 PM ET): Deadline for receipt of full proposals
- Early January 2020: Finalists notified


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions:
Emmy Hall Ganos, PhD, senior program officer
Phone: (609) 627-6252

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
50 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540-6614

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)