New York State Department of Health Launches NYS Health Connector

NYS Health Connector is an Innovative Data Clearinghouse Powered by the All Payer Database

New Interactive Tool Informs and Empowers Consumers, Policymakers and Researchers

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 16, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health today launched the NYS Health Connector, a web-based application that allows quick access to a wide range of health information, such as the costs of various medical procedures and the frequency those procedures are performed at hospitals, empowering consumers to make more informed health care decisions. This new website, which also features health care service and utilization data, is a rich resource for policymakers and researchers interested in identifying needs and resources in communities throughout the state as well.

"It is critical for patients to be active participants in their healthcare decisions, and we are proud to announce that the NYS Health Connector can help them reach that goal," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "We have consolidated and made accessible multiple sources of data that will help New Yorkers achieve better health, better care and lower costs."

By making this comprehensive data easier for consumers, policymakers and researchers to find, the NYS Health Connector enables the sharing of information that can be used to improve health outcomes, service quality and patient safety. The NYS Health Connector is powered by the All Payer Database.

For Consumers

The more than 2.3 million inpatient admissions every year in acute care hospitals across the state account for the majority of costs, resources and services provided at these facilities. The NYS Health Connector includes information about the estimated cost of hospital services at facilities across New York State, from cardiac procedures to maternity and newborn care, and more. Consumers can search for hospitals in their area and compare costs as well as learn how often procedures are performed at different facilities.

Estimated costs are submitted by a hospital to the state and may not necessarily reflect the final price of the service delivered. Cost variations can be attributed to factors including volume, teaching-hospital status, geographic region and quality of care.

Click here for a video demonstration of how you can use NYS Health Connector to examine cost and quality measures.

For Policymakers

Surveillance and research data is also available on the NYS Health Connectorto inform policymakers, communities and other interested parties about potential trends and emerging health issues, such as death by suicide across the state.

Having this data readily available for interpretation is part of the mission of the Governor's Suicide Prevention Task Force, which was formed in 2017. The task force, which is comprised of leaders from state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other recognized experts in suicide prevention, is focusing on identifying ways to build on the State's efforts to address this challenge and help build a stronger, healthier New York.

People across the state have requested this data to help them understand who is at high risk and to assist them in preventing these deaths.

For Researchers

Data about emergency department (ED) visits can also be found on the NYS Health Connector. The NYS Health Connector currently presents dashboards showing summaries of who is going to the ED and when, as well as what kinds of conditions are being treated. In the future, the Connector will include estimates on whether the ED treatment could have been avoided with adequate access to alternative care settings and better patient care coordination.

Every year more than four million people make about seven million visits to hospital emergency departments in New York State that do not result in a hospital stay.An analysis of data collected from these visits suggests that most conditions for which patients are seeking care may have been treated in an alternative, less expensive setting.Tracking rates of these types of non-emergent visits can help identify the conditions and regions where additional resources could improve patient outcomes, increase access to primary and preventive care and reduce costs. Although it may not be possible to eliminate every ED visit that should have been treated in a different setting, reducing just a fraction of these visits would make a difference.

Click here for a video demonstration of how you can use NYS Health Connector to find data about ED visits.

The NYS Health Connector was launched during today's New York State All Payer Database Stakeholder Meeting in Albany. During the stakeholder meeting, the Department engaged participants in prioritizing the addition of other dashboard and data sets, which will happen regularly in the coming months.