Developing NY HOST: New York Healthcare Online Shopping Tool
Empowering Health Care Consumers
November 5, 2015
Surveys have found that consumers find their medical bills to be much higher than expected and that it is challenging to access trustworthy information about the quality of providers.
Despite demand for better information, there is a widespread lack of health care transparency tools—and tools that do exist are not always designed with patients in mind. As more and more people enroll in health insurance and use services, it is vital that consumers have information that will help them make good choices about when and where to receive care, and how much they might expect to pay for that care. Price and quality transparency also can help uninsured or underinsured patients negotiate with providers for more favorable rates. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded FAIR Health, Inc., a grant to significantly expand its current consumer website and create New York’s first transparency tool.
Under this grant, FAIR Health developed and launched a consumer-shopping tool to help consumers make informed health care decisions. Specifically, the tool provides information on both provider quality and price data and allows consumers to compare health care providers on a range of quality indicators. Through an easy-to-use search function, consumers are able to compare hospitals, urgent care centers, retail clinics, individual providers, and other specific New York providers based on their ZIP codes. FAIR Health initiated statewide support for the project by first forming a multistakeholder project advisory committee and conducting consumer focus groups. Using these finding, it implemented recommendations for content and technical requirements to design the website. Finally, FAIR Health implemented and promoted provider pricing information that allows New Yorkers to compare prices for the 200 most commonly performed health care services in the State. FAIR Health engaged an external marketing partner to promote broad awareness and use of the website.
Explore the website: YouCanPlanForThis.org.