Empowering Health Care Consumers


Public Agenda

Funding Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers


November 8, 2019


Achieving greater transparency in health care quality can ensure that New Yorkers have information that is public, accessible, and actionable. Better health care quality information can steer people toward higher-quality providers, improve health outcomes for patients, and reduce costs for consumers, providers, purchasers, and payers alike. Yet quality measurement and reporting systems are not always designed primarily with consumers in mind.

This survey by Public Agenda offers fresh insights on New York State residents’ interest, awareness, and preferences for accessing health care quality information. It follows up on a previous study that found consumers do in fact want more price transparency and other information to help them make decisions about their health care.

Based on the survey results, this report reveals New York State residents’ views on health care quality, including what they think quality means; the kind of information they want and who they want it from; and what they think the State’s role should be in providing this information and in holding doctors and hospitals accountable for quality. Among the findings:

  • New Yorkers worry as much about health care quality as they do about affordability and insurance coverage.
  • New Yorkers think high-quality health care from a doctor means that diagnoses are correct, treatments are effective, and communication is clear. High-quality hospital care means that treatments are effective, complications and errors are rare, and communication is clear.
  • There is not enough publicly available information about quality. Most New Yorkers say that information about effectiveness and error rates would help them identify high-quality doctors and hospitals.
  • Most New Yorkers trust actual patients as a source to find out the quality of a specific doctor’s or hospital’s care.
  • Both the State and health insurers should provide information about the quality of every doctor and hospital.

On November 8, 2019, NYSHealth and Public Agenda held a public release of the latest survey findings on how New Yorkers view health care quality, including a conversation with quality experts on what the State, providers, and payers can do to meet the information needs of consumers.