Empowering Health Care Consumers
New Yorkers find the health care system hard to understand and navigate. Information about prices and quality is opaque, the system is often unresponsive to consumers’ needs and preferences, and patients are not engaged in shared decision-making with their health care providers. Too often, consumers and patients are marginalized rather than placed at the center of the health care system and treated as its most important customers.
To ensure that consumers have the tools, resources, and support they need, the Foundation is focused on two strategies: (1) promoting information transparency and (2) engaging patients as partners in health care decision-making.
Promoting Information Transparency and Engaging Patients as Partners
Promoting Information Transparency in Price, Quality, and Patient Experience
We are fostering greater transparency in health care so that the information New Yorkers want most is public, accessible, usable, and actionable. Increased transparency of price, quality, and patient experience information will enable consumers to make better health care decisions for themselves. It will also help other stakeholders—employers, doctors, hospitals and government—to make better decisions that benefit New Yorkers and increase consumers’ access to needed information.
Projects in this area include:
- Building the evidence for price and quality transparency and the state’s role in advancing it;
- Helping health care stakeholders understand what consumers want, through a statewide survey on price transparency;
- Encouraging the health care system’s use of patient-experience and user-generated ratings such as Yelp; and
- Supporting tools for consumers to make health care decisions related to pregnancy, hospitals and doctors, and health insurance plan selection.
Engaging Patients as Partners in Clinical and Health Policy Decision-Making
We are supporting New Yorkers to have a meaningful role as partners both in their own health care and at the policy level. At the clinical level, providers should ensure that patients have access to their own health information so that they are more empowered to get their needs met and have a voice in health care decisions. At the policy level, patients and consumers should have a seat at the table to help drive and inform decisions that affect health care policy, access, and costs in New York State.
Projects in this area include:
- Giving patients access to their health care visit notes;
- Understanding the landscape and role of Patient and Family Advisory Councils at hospitals across New York State;
- Integrating the consumer voices into the certificate of need planning process; and
- Improving discharge planning so that patients and caregivers have the information they need to make decisions about post-acute care options.
For more information about this priority area, contact Program Officer Laura Eldon
As a Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), Laura Eldon focuses on NYSHealth’s priority area of empowering health care consumers, which explores ways to engage patients as partners in their health care decision-making and increase transparency in the health care system.
Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Eldon was a health insurance specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, specializing in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, the Health Insurance Marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act for small businesses. In that role, Ms. Eldon oversaw the SHOP Marketplace’s consumer engagement activities around outreach, marketing, and policy. Previously, Ms. Eldon was the manager of political affairs at the National Association of Health Underwriters, a trade association representing more than 100,000 health insurance agents and brokers, where she managed the association’s political action committee and grassroots activities.
Ms. Eldon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Muhlenberg College and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Lehigh University.
or Program Assistant Jannel Tillman
As Program Assistant, Jannel Tillman provides administrative support to the Vice President of Programs, as well as program support to the Empowering Health Care Consumers and Special Projects Fund teams. She is responsible for assisting in grants management, grantee communications, event coordination, and research. She works closely with NYSHealth staff to develop and design grant opportunities.
Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Tillman worked as a patient advocate at the Coalition for Concerned Medical Professionals, an organization dedicated to increasing access to comprehensive medical care for low-income workers, where she facilitated treatment planning between patients and physicians. Ms. Tillman also worked at the New York Public Library, Northside Center for Child Development, and Jefferson School-Based Health Center. Finally, she was a program scholar in the National Institutes of Health’s Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program.
Ms. Tillman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Brooklyn College and certification as a health education specialist.