Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Safe Birth NY: Empowering Women to Use Hospital Quality Data When Deciding Where to Give Birth

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

January 4, 2017


Long Island







Too often the health care system puts patients last, when they should come first. Consumers and patients are frequently marginalized, rather than placed at the center of the health care system and treated as its most important customers.

The interests of providers, payers, and other organized stakeholders take precedence over the patient in many cases. NYHealth seeks to amplify the voice of the health care consumer and increase the information and tools available so that patients have more influence over their health and health care. To change the current dynamic and increase health care consumers’ choice, control, and convenience, NYHealth issued a request for proposals, Empowering Health Care Consumers in New York State. Through this initiative, NYHealth is funding ambitious, large-scale projects and studies to increase consumers’ access to their own health information; provide new tools and resources that will inform consumer health care decision-making; and identify strategies that meaningfully engage consumers in determining the types of health care services available in their local communities. NYHealth awarded Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) a grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) used maternal quality data to create a ratings system and online scorecard for hospitals with maternal services in New York City and Long Island (where approximately 50% of all New York State births occur). A woman’s risk for a C-section depends in large part on where she decides to deliver her baby, as well as on her race and ethnicity; women of color are more likely to have a C-section. Huge variations among hospital C-section rates exist in New York State, which impact the safety and wellbeing of mothers and babies. If provided with better education and information, many women would likely make different choices about where to seek prenatal and delivery care. NEBGH’s scorecard provides women with information on several birth-related metrics such as rates of unnecessary C-sections, episiotomies, and vaginal births after caesareans. Additionally, NEBGH worked with Choices in Childbirth to inform the research, create and disseminate accompanying educational content, and help women use this vital information in choosing where to give birth.

View the website ExpectNY.

See a full list of recipients.