Empowering Health Care Consumers


February 3, 2023

Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers



Through our Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area, NYHealth promotes greater information transparency and supports patients in engaging as partners in their care. Through our upcoming Primary Care priority area, beginning in 2023, NYHealth will increase primary care access and capacity, build the primary care workforce, and advance racial health equity. The intersection between Empowering Health Care Consumers and Primary Care provides the framework for this Request for Proposals (RFP).

Shared visit notes, often referred to as open notes, are an important way to help consumers become active participants in their own care. Established in 2010, OpenNotes is a national effort to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians. When patients have access to their own visit notes, they better remember what was discussed during the visit; stay up to date on future visits; are more likely to take medications as prescribed; are more confident in their treatment plans; and can share notes with their family and caregivers.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which went into effect last year, is a federal mandate that requires health care providers to make visit notes available to patients electronically and at no charge. However, the level of compliance and, most importantly, the proactive use of open notes to improve care varies. NYHealth is currently providing 16 hospitals with funding, technical assistance, and peer-learning opportunities to implement open notes more effectively—helping them to go from good to great in their note-sharing and associated patient engagement. But FQHCs, physician practices, and other non-hospital systems—which are key providers of primary care and other services for marginalized communities—also need support to deepen their efforts to share visit notes with patients.

This RFP is open to any non-hospital system in New York State that is implementing and sharing open notes in compliance with recent federal rules and is seeking to go beyond compliance and use open notes to spark a culture change and more meaningfully engage patients. Eligible providers include federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), multispecialty group practices, hospital-affiliated physician groups, independent physician practices, and other non-hospital systems in New York State. Sole proprietorships and single member LLCs are not eligible to apply.

Through this RFP, NYHealth—in partnership with the OpenNotes national program office—will provide non-hospital systems throughout the State with funding, technical assistance, and opportunities for peer learning to implement and share open notes effectively. The Foundation will award grants of $50,000 per site (up to 2 sites per system, pending funding availability) to supplement the costs associated with implementing and sharing open notes.

Please find the detailed “From Good to Great: Improving Access to and Use of Patient Visit Notes in Non-Hospital Systems” RFP here.

How to apply:

Applicants must complete and submit an online application. For detailed guidelines, please review the online application instructions. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, February 3, 2023, at 1 p.m. All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their applications by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Programmatic questions about this funding opportunity should be e-mailed to OpenNotesRFP@nyhealthfoundation.org.

Technical questions regarding the online application system should be e-mailed to the NYHealth Grants Management Department at gm@nyhealthfoundation.org.

Learn more about previous NYHealth efforts to help FQHCs, other non-hospital systems, and hospital systems successfully implement open notes.

On December 13, 2022, NYHealth hosted a webinar with OpenNotes and New York State non-hospital system providers to discuss successful examples of adopting open notes and engaging patients. See the recap and watch the webinar recording here.