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