Governor Will Direct Department of Health, Department of Financial Services and Other State Agencies to Create a Consumer-Friendly Website Where New Yorkers Can Easily Compare Cost and Quality of Healthcare Procedures
Website Will Also Provide Educational Resources Including Financial Assistance Options and What to Do About a Surprise Bill
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the 14th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda - increasing transparency in healthcare costs. Under this proposal, Governor Cuomo will direct the Department of Health, the Department of Financial Services and the New York State Digital and Media Services Center - a joint enterprise of the Office of Information Technology Services and Office of General Services - to create a consumer-friendly website, called NYHealthcareCompare, where New Yorkers can easily compare the cost and quality of healthcare procedures at hospitals around the state. The platform will also provide consumers with educational resources designed to help consumers know their rights including financial assistance options, what to do about a surprise bill and more.
"New York has made tremendous progress protecting consumers from unreasonably expensive medical care," Governor Cuomo said. "But the cost of many healthcare procedures has risen in recent years in part because consumers don't have an easy way to compare prices at different hospitals in their area. This new website will give New Yorkers the facts they need to make informed decisions about the cost and quality of healthcare procedures - helping increase competition in the marketplace and driving down prices."
Governor Cuomo has taken nation-leading steps to protect consumers from high medical costs. In 2014, the Governor signed first-in-the-nation legislation to protect consumers from surprise bills for out-of-network costs, and in 2019 the Governor signed legislation further extending these protections. Governor Cuomo has also supported making information about healthcare services available to the public. With the development of the All Payer Database system, New York is entering a new era of cutting-edge healthcare research and transparency in healthcare costs and delivery.
However, the burden of healthcare costs is increasingly falling to consumers, and there are increasing demands for reliable information for decisions, especially for planned services where there is a choice. The cost of planned services can vary widely within a region. For consumers to be empowered to shop for healthcare services, consumers first need to be aware that there is a trusted source of information that is presented in a user-friendly and accessible way. Existing information is scattered across websites. Consumers cannot easily find what they are looking for, leading them to give up on finding the information they need.
This new website will allow consumers to easily shop for healthcare services and understand their rights all in one site, empowering New Yorkers to become educated consumers of healthcare services and choose the healthcare facility that fits their needs. The website would also enable consumers to:
- See cost, quality and volume data by specific hospital;
- Search by medical procedure costs;
- Search affordability questions; and
Search laws and programs to help New Yorkers with medical bills, health insurance complaints, hospital complaints and practitioner/provider complaints.