Calculating the Value of Consumer Engagement

How did AF4Q Alliances seek to demonstrate the value of consumer engagement? Engaging consumers—the end users of the health care system—in efforts to improve health care was a core component of the AF4Q program. While the same core expectation of promoting consumer engagement applied to all AF4Q Alliances, each Alliance had autonomy in designing and implementing activities to engage consumers in their own health, efforts to improve direct care, and program planning.  Although a number Alliances identify consumer engagement as strategically important, few have quantified the cost or benefit of those activities. Quantifying the return on investment, or ROI, of consumer engagement activities is important to sustain these efforts in the future and make programmatic choices. Seven Alliances were granted funds to gather data and assess the costs, benefits, and ROI of a specific consumer engagement activity. These are the lessons learned from the attempt to put the costs and benefits of consumer engagement into monetary terms.