Connecting Consumers to Information: Helping Physicians Empower their Patients
Empowering Health Care Consumers
February 12, 2018
A lack of price information transparency makes it difficult for consumers to make fully informed health care decisions.
Access to reliable quality information is equally important, as it can impact health care decisions. Although consumer information tools are available, use of price and quality websites and tools is low, as many people are unaware of them. However, research suggests that consumers do want information on cost and quality, but do not know where to find it; an NYSHealth-supported survey by Public Agenda found that at least half of consumers search for cost and quality information in multiple places. Still, consumers continue to look to their physicians as a primary source of price and quality information. In February 2018, NYSHealth awarded I.M. Research and Service Corporation for the New York Chapter, American College of Physicians (NYACP) a grant to orient physicians and their staff members to available price and quality tools, as well as encourage their use among patients.
Under this grant, NYACP raised awareness among its member network of 12,000 physicians, residents, and medical students on available price and quality tools and resources for patients. NYACP exists as one of two hubs of statewide associations of primary care providers to participate in this initiative. It educated its members on how to engage patients in conversations about cost or quality choices. It also recruited practices that are early adopters to act as information ambassadors for promoting price transparency and patient engagement. Finally, NYACP promoted its efforts through multiple other channels, including materials in physician waiting rooms, websites, and social media.