Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Are We There Yet? An Analysis of Health Care Cost and Quality Consumer Tools and Recommendations for New York State

Grant Amount

$228,388

Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

July 25, 2017

Region

Outside New York State

Status

Closed

Website

http://honesthealth.org/

SEE GRANT OUTCOMES

As a result of increased cost-sharing, consumers are eager for health care quality and price transparency tools to inform decision-making and allow for comparison shopping.

An NYSHealth-funded survey by Public Agenda found that nearly half of New Yorkers have attempted to look up health care costs, but there is limited consumer awareness of websites that offer price or quality information. Additionally, the survey found that 80% of New Yorkers believe that the State should provide a way for consumers to compare health care prices. Despite consumer interest and some State efforts in this area, comparative health care quality and cost information remains largely obscured to the public. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded HonestHealth a grant to lay the groundwork for the State to provide timely, meaningful, and understandable information and enhance consumers’ ability to make informed choices.

Under this grant, HonestHealth conducted an inventory of existing New York State and national online consumer-focused health care cost and quality resources and tools, assessing their assets and deficiencies. This inventory will be used to inform the State’s development of an all-payer database or the creation of a centralized repository of health care consumer tools and information. A final report was prepared, providing a breakdown of each cost and quality website’s data, measures, and presentation. The report identified best practices, gaps, and shortcomings of current New York State tools with recommendations for next steps. A searchable online reference of resources was also posted, organized by state, market, and information shown.

The online database evaluates the national tools inventoried in four categories: physicians, hospitals, prescription drug pricing, and health insurance purchasing. The accompanying report, “Advancing Health Care Transparency for Consumers: A National Inventory of Tools to Guide State Policy,” summarizes key findings from the inventory and offers best practices and recommendations for New York State to consider for new or existing tools.