Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Bringing Cutting-Edge Transparency to All New Yorkers

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

June 24, 2019


Capital Region







Health care consumers regularly seek information on health care costs, quality of care, and providers that are in-network, but they are often unable to find answers because of a lack of information transparency.

Although various data are publicly available in New York State, there is no consumer-friendly site that connects these useful but scattered resources. Many people struggle to find critical information that can help them make better health care decisions. A much better consumer experience is needed and possible. In 2019, NYHealth awarded Health Research, Inc. (HRI) a grant to support the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to develop a consumer-friendly tool that New Yorkers can use as a central go-to source for information on health care services.

Under this grant, HRI subcontracted with HonestHealth to develop Nexus, a tool that pulls information from a variety of New York State data sources to provide consumers with the relevant information they need to make more informed health care decisions. Nexus is a chat interface that gives consumers specific answers to questions about their health care needs, such as, “Is Mount Sinai in my Fidelis Care Network?” Current interfaces answer most questions with non-specific responses that send consumers to general website links. The purpose of this grant was for Nexus to be developed to give consumers direct, specific answers to their questions. For example, questions on the exact cost of health care services, whether specific doctors are in-network, or which doctors provide higher-quality care would prompt Nexus to tap directly into data sources to find a specific response. Nexus was conceived to have mobile capabilities and to be user-friendly, allowing consumers to ask Nexus their questions in layman’s terms, rather than requiring specific jargon or knowledge of medical billing codes to request information. The Nexus tool aimed to set a new standard for information transparency in health care for consumers.