New York State Health Foundation

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Empowering Health Care Consumers

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Today, New Yorkers find the health care system incredibly complex to understand and navigate. Information about prices and quality is opaque, the system is often unresponsive to consumers’ needs and preferences, and patients are not engaged in shared decision-making with their health care providers. Too often, consumers and patients are marginalized rather than placed at the center of the health care system and treated as its most important customers.

To ensure that consumers have the tools, resources, and support they need to be empowered and make informed decisions about their health care, the Foundation is focused on two strategies: (1) promoting information transparency and (2) engaging patients as partners in health care decision-making.

Promoting Information Transparency in Price, Quality, and Patient Experience

We want consumers to have and use clear, actionable information on health care prices, quality, and patient experience. This information will help New Yorkers make educated, savvy decisions about their health care. 

Projects in this area include:

  • “You Can Plan For This,” a website to help New Yorkers find and compare price information;  
  • Maternity metrics scorecard to help women in selecting hospitals for giving birth; 
  • Out-of-pocket cost calculator tool for high-cost conditions; and 
  • Promoting patient-friendly data-sharing exemplars at hospitals. 

Engaging Patients as Partners in Clinical and Health Policy Decision-Making

We want to ensure that New Yorkers have a meaningful role as partners both in their own health care and at the policy level. At the clinical level, patients should have access to their own health information so they can actively participate in their own care. At the policy level, patients and consumers should have a seat at the table to help drive and inform decisions that affect health care.

Projects in this area include:

For more information about this priority area, contact Program Officer Amy Shefrin at

View Program Impact View Social Impact
Program Impact: Improving Transparency and Affordability to Empower Consumers
What we are doing How we measure progress Where we started Where we have been Where we are now What this

Increase the transparency of health care price information for consumers. 

By the end of 2016, at least 12 hospitals in New York State voluntarily disclose prices for services. 

2015: 3 hospitals

2015: 3 hospitals

Improve consumers' access to and use of health care price and quality information. 

By the end of 2018, New York State has a consumer shopping tool that contains user-friendly price and quality information for the 200 most commonly performed health care services.

2015: No comprehensive tool exists. 

2015: No comprehensive tool exists. FAIR Health is beginning work to develop a comprehensive, consumer-friendly tool.

Social Context: Improving Transparency and Affordability to Empower Consumers
How we Measure the Social Context for our Work Where New York Started Where New York Has Been Where New York Is Now

New York's rating on Catalyst for Payment Reform annual Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws. 

2014 Catalyst for Payment Reform Grade: F


2015 Catalyst for Payment Reform Grade: F