More unin­sured pa­tients in N.Y., but less in­di­gent-care fund­ing

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —El­iz­a­beth Whit­man

Hos­pi­tals that pro­vided the ma­jor­ity of care to unin­sured pa­tients in New York City re­ceived a mi­nor­ity of state dol­lars aimed at com­pen­sat­ing hos­pi­tals for such care, ac­cord­ing to the New York State Health Foun­da­tion.

The 10 hos­pi­tals that pro­vided the most ser­vices to unin­sured pa­tients in 2013 pro­vided from 94,000 to 187,000 ser­vices to pa­tients, based on state data re­leased in 2015. The hos­pi­tals re­ceived in­di­gent-care pay­ments that ranged from $4 mil­lion to $64 mil­lion, or from $39 to $593 for each ser­vice pro­vided. Eight of the 10 hos­pi­tals were pub­lic providers, and car­ing for the unin­sured con­sti­tuted 15% to 33% of their to­tal vol­ume.

The op­po­site held true among the 10 hos­pi­tals that pro­vided the fewest ser­vices to unin­sured pa­tients. Eight were pri­vate hos­pi­tals, and two were aca­demic med­i­cal cen­ters, mean­ing none of them were pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions. They pro­vided from 90 to 10,000 ser­vices to the unin­sured in 2013, re­ceiv­ing be­tween $500,000 and $12.7 mil­lion from the in­di­gent-care pool, or from $2,000 to $13,000 per ser­vice. This care rep­re­sented 1% to 9% of the hos­pi­tals’ to­tal ser­vices.

Hos­pi­tals in the state re­ceive more than $1.1 bil­lion in in­di­gent-care pay­ments ev­ery year.

Memo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter, an aca­demic cen­ter, pro­vided fewer than 900 unin­sured ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, yet it re­ceived $5 mil­lion more in in­di­gent-care pay­ments than Elmhurst Hos­pi­tal in Queens, part of the pub­lic NYC Health & Hos­pi­tals sys­tem. Elmhurst pro­vided more than 187,000 ser­vices to unin­sured pa­tients, more than any other hos­pi­tal in the city.

In ag­gre­gate, New York City’s 12 pub­lic hos­pi­tals pro­vided 58% of unin­sured care in 2013, but re­ceived just 15% of to­tal in­di­gent-care pay­ments.

Elmhurst Hos­pi­tal in Queens

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