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  • New York Public Interest Research Group Fund, Inc. Promoting the Role of Family Caregivers and Open Visitation in New York Hospitals Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $164,032

    Isolating hospital patients from their loved ones at their most vulnerable time can place them at risk for medical error, emotional harm, inconsistencies in care, and a greater likelihood of readmission. Having robust family presence guidelines, such as 24/7 open visitation, is one way to strengthen and leverage the important role of family and informal caregivers as partners in a patient’s health care experience. However, many hospitals throughout the State still bar family members from the bedsides of loved ones at important times of day because of restrictive hospital visitation policies. In 2015, New York Public Interest Research Group Fund (NYPIRG) and Institute for Patient- and Family Centered Care (IPFCC) piloted a 24/7 visitation program in New York City hospitals to improve hospital policies on caregiver presence and visiting. Based on promising early findings, NYSHealth awarded a grant in 2017 to NYPIRG, in partnership with IPFCC, to enhance and replicate this 24/7 visitation program in upstate New York hospitals.

  • Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. (d.b.a. Health Affairs) Health Affairs Theme Issues on Patient Engagement and Veterans’/Military Health Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers Priority Area: Veterans' Health $150,000

    Health Affairs, the nation’s leading peer-reviewed health policy journal, regularly publishes special thematic issues—with support from a range of public and private funders—that address major topics in health care policy and practice. With reach into the worlds of health policy, clinical practice, and health care systems, Health Affairs plays a key role in identifying emerging and promising practices, providing actionable evidence to public and private sector policymakers, and advancing innovation. NYSHealth has previously provided support for three special issues of Health Affairs on health care delivery system innovation, diabetes prevention, and health insurance exchanges. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Project HOPE to support Health Affairs in the publication of two thematic issues: one focused on veterans’ and military health and the other on patient engagement.

  • Medicaid Matters New York (fiscal sponsor: Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy) Understanding the Information and Transparency Needs of Medicaid Managed Care Enrollees Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $80,086

    One-quarter of New York State’s population, more than 6.2 million people, relies on Medicaid for health insurance coverage. Most of these individuals are enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), which contract with the State to assume responsibility for Medicaid enrollees’ health care. For people enrolled in Medicaid, with fewer resources, accessing information to maintain their health can be challenging. Transparency initiatives are of great value for enabling more informed and activated patients, but they may be leaving behind the millions of New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid. For example, transparency tools on quality variation among providers could be of value to this population, but it is unclear whether enrollees have access to or are aware of these tools. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Medicaid Matters New York (MMNY), through fiscal sponsor Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, a grant to understand the informational needs Medicaid enrollees.

  • New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Evaluating Consumer and Provider Effects of FAIR Health Online Shopping Tool Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $296,775

    More and more New Yorkers are enrolled in health insurance plans that have high deductibles, significant cost-sharing provisions, and narrow or closed networks. As a result, it is imperative that consumers have the right information to understand and compare their health care options. Despite the need for better information, consumers continue to face a lack of health care price transparency tools. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded a grant to FAIR Health, which oversees the nation’s largest private claims database, to create a consumer tool with pricing information that would help consumers compare providers. The tool, NY HOST, will launch in two phases: a physician charge phase in September 2017 and a hospital charge phase in February 2018 that will offer pricing information for hospitals in Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, and Westchester. To evaluate the tool’s impact on consumer behavior, provider charges, and the health care market, NYSHealth awarded a grant in 2017 to New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU).

  • Northeast Business Group on Health Safe Birth NY: Empowering Women to Use Hospital Quality Data When Deciding Where to Give Birth Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $225,000

    Too often the health care system puts patients last, when they should come first. Consumers and patients are frequently marginalized, rather than placed at the center of the health care system and treated as its most important customers. The interests of providers, payers, and other organized stakeholders take precedence over the patient in many cases. NYSHealth seeks to amplify the voice of the health care consumer and increase the information and tools available so that patients have more influence over their health and health care. To change the current dynamic and increase health care consumers’ choice, control, and convenience, NYSHealth issued a request for proposals, Empowering Health Care Consumers in New York State. Through this initiative, NYSHealth is funding ambitious, large-scale projects and studies to increase consumers’ access to their own health information; provide new tools and resources that will inform consumer health care decision-making; and identify strategies that meaningfully engage consumers in determining the types of health care services available in their local communities. NYSHealth awarded Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) a grant to participate in this initiative.

  • Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York, Inc. (WCNY) Becoming a Savvier Health Care Consumer Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $93,516

    The health care system is incredibly complex to understand and navigate, and consumer-friendly information about prices, quality, and other aspects of care is lacking. Arming consumers with information will help them make savvier decisions about their own health and health care and give them a greater sense of control over those decisions. The Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York—known as WCNY—serves as Central New York’s public media organization that works to engage, educate, entertain, and connect the communities it serves to a rich array of quality resources and experiences. To reach millions of New Yorkers and help them become more informed health care consumers, NYSHealth awarded WCNY a grant in 2017 to provide them with easy-to-understand health care information, tools, resources, and exemplary stories of real people actively engaged in their health care.

  • The New York and Presbyterian Hospital Implementing OpenNotes at an Accountable Care Organization Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $199,908

    Although health care consumers have access to growing amounts of health information, they are often left to tie together many pieces of information from their medical records. Notes from a doctor visit, on the other hand, are far more comprehensive and can facilitate organized care—but without written notes, patients may easily forget their doctor’s advice or get it wrong. Begun in 2010, OpenNotes is a national initiative to create partnerships toward better health and health care by giving everyone on the medical team, including the patient, access to the same information. For elderly patients who often have multiple medical conditions and a large team of providers and caregivers, OpenNotes can provide easier access to medical notes and improve care coordination. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded the New York and Presbyterian Hospital, an accountable care organization (ACO) known as NewYork Quality Care (jointly formed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) a grant to test OpenNotes among its elderly Medicare patients.

  • Long Term Care Community Coalition Good Nursing Home Care: Educating Consumers and Consumer Advocates in the Face of Sweeping Changes Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $84,982

    Despite the critical services nursing homes provide for people with both long-term and short-term needs, widespread problems persist. Safe, high-quality, person-centered care that maintains the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of the frailest New Yorkers has become the exception, rather than the rule. To address these problems, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued an overhaul of federal nursing home standards and updated Nursing Home Compare, the government-operated nursing home comparison website, to help the public gain better insight into the quality of care provided by facilities in their communities. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) a grant to ensure that the new standards and information sources are understood and used by New York’s nursing home residents and their families.

  • Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, Inc. Patient and Family Advisory Councils: Understanding Their Prevalence and Roles in New York Hospitals Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $168,510

    Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) provide an opportunity for patients and families to bring their perspectives to bear on hospital-related decisions (e.g., policies, staffing, communications, and facilities) and governance. However, concerns have been raised that PFACs serve as not much more than window dressing for some hospitals. In response, state and federal agencies have begun initiatives that aim to increase the role of PFACs in reflecting the needs and concerns of patients and families. Despite the growing recognition of PFACs’ need, there is a dearth of information on how many PFACs exist in New York State and how they vary in their composition and roles. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) a grant to address this information gap in New York State.

  • National Partnership for Women & Families GetMyHealthData: Creating Data Exemplars in New York Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers $329,628

    Too often the health care system puts patients last, when they should come first. Consumers and patients are frequently marginalized, rather than placed at the center of the health care system and treated as its most important customers. The interests of providers, payers, and other organized stakeholders take precedence over the patient in many cases. NYSHealth seeks to amplify the voice of the health care consumer and increase the information and tools available so that patients have more influence over their health and health care. To change the current dynamic and increase health care consumers’ choice, control, and convenience, NYSHealth issued a request for proposals, Empowering Health Care Consumers in New York State. Through this initiative, NYSHealth is funding ambitious, large-scale projects and studies to increase consumers’ access to their own health information; provide new tools and resources that will inform consumer health care decision-making; and identify strategies that meaningfully engage consumers in determining the types of health care services available in their local communities. NYSHealth awarded National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF) a grant to participate in this initiative.

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