Indigent Care in New York State
Hospitals routinely provide healthcare for poor people. New York State’s “Indigent Care Pool” (ICP) program partially reimburses hospitals for the cost of treating uninsured patients who cannot afford to pay for their care. The way that the money is allocated makes little sense, though: some safety-net hospitals get shortchanged, while affluent facilities get far too much money for the minimal indigent care that they provide.
The Facts You Need to Know
Richer: Some famous, well-endowed hospitals, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan, receive millions of dollars in “indigent care” grants, despite sustaining no net loss in providing such services. Read more.
Poorer: Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn provides more than $100 million in direct care to the poor and uninsured but collects just pennies on the dollar from the ICP. Read more.
Hidden: New York funds the ICP through the Health Care Reform Act, a hidden surcharge on health insurance that is assessed inequitably. Read more.
“Why Albany spends the Indigent Care Pool money so carelessly is another question. Some observers think the formula is cynically designed to subsidize the big, powerful hospitals that have outsized lobbying clout.”
The Past is Present
“Emergency health care functions as a conspicuous exception to the general principle of market exchange, whereby services are voluntarily bought and sold.”
And in other news...
“Shola Olatoye, the chair of the New York City Housing Authority, testified Tuesday that she could not recall whether City Hall advised her to certify to the feds that the agency had conducted annual lead paint inspections when she knew it didn’t.”