Patient Safety Resource Guide

The Patient Safety Resource Guide is available in Portable Document Format in three layouts:

Table of Contents

Message from the Commissioner

On behalf of the New York State Department of Health, I am pleased to provide you with information designed to keep you and your family healthy and informed about your health care. The programs highlighted in this brochure represent a snapshot of the health care services, supports and tools New York State makes available. I encourage you to visit the New York State Department of Health's website at to learn more.

Health Insurance for You and Your Family


Medicaid is a program for New Yorkers who can't afford to pay for medical care. You may be covered by Medicaid if you have high medical bills, receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or meet certain income, resource, age or disability requirements. You can apply for Medicaid by writing, phoning or visiting your local department of social services .

In New York City, contact the Human Resources Administration by calling (718) 557-1399. Residents of the five boroughs of New York City may call (718)557-1399. Pregnant women and children can apply at many clinics, hospitals, and Prenatal Care Assistance Program offices. Call your local department of social services to find out where you can apply.

Child Health Plus

Child Health Plus is a health insurance plan for children under the age of 19. Depending on your family's income, your child may be eligible to join either Child Health Plus or Children's Medicaid. Both are available through dozens of providers throughout New York.

Family Health Plus

Family Health Plus is a health insurance program for adults age 19 to 64 who have income or resources too high to qualify for Medicaid. Family Health Plus is available to single adults, couples without children and parents with limited income who are residents of New York State and are United States citizens or fall under one of many immigration categories.

Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

EPIC is a New York State program that helps seniors with limited income pay for their prescription drugs.

If you are unsure which program might be right for your family, you may complete the Access NY Health Insurance and Nutrition Application. This one application can be used to apply for Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, Medicaid, the Prenatal Care Assistance Program, the Family Planning Benefit Program and the Women, Infants and Children nutritional program. Based upon the information you provide, you will be told the programs for which you and/or your children are eligible.

Healthy Lifestyles

Smoking Cessation

The New York State Smokers' Quitsite includes information on how to quit smoking, tools to help you quit and information on local stop smoking programs. Trained Quitline specialists are available at the toll-free number.

Growing Up Healthy Hotline

The Growing Up Healthy Hotline provides information about health care, nutrition and other health and human services. The hotline provides information and referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week in English, Spanish and other languages. All calls are confidential. An operator will help identify the services needed and provide information on how to locate a provider in your area.

Early Intervention Program

The Early Intervention Program offers a variety of therapeutic and support services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. To be eligible for services, children must be under 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by New York State.

  • For the phone number of your county's program, call the New York State "Growing Up Healthy" 24-hour Hotline at 1-800-522-5006. Or, you can call the New York Parent's Connection 1-800-345-5437 (1-800-345-KIDS) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. about this and other child-related services.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program

WIC is a special supplemental food program providing nutritious foods, milk, juice, formula and other items to low-income pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age five.

Making Informed Decisions about your Health Care

The Department of Health offers several tools to help you make informed decisions about your health care. You are encouraged to use this information to begin conversations with your doctor and other health care professionals, as well as with family members, friends and associates who may have direct experience with a particular health care provider or facility.

Physician Profile

The New York State Physician Profile website makes it possible for individuals to get a variety of information about physicians.

Health Care Facility Profiles

Use these sites to find information about health care facilities in New York State and the quality of care they provide.

Hospital Profile

Nursing Home Profile

Home Health and Hospice Profile

New York State Department of Health Patient Safety Center

The Patient Safety Center collaborates with providers to improve patient safety information and provides useful information to consumers making a variety of health care decisions.

Complaints about Care