Community Service Society: How to Fix NY's Hospital Indigent Care Program

Liz Krueger

February 14, 2012

The Community Service Society just published an alarming report detailing hospitals’ widespread failure to comply with a charity care law that went into effect in 2007. The law addressed the need for financial assistance to reduce the hospital bills of  low-income New Yorkers who are uninsured or underinsured. According to The New York Times:

“The entire system is corrupted, and it isn’t working for patients,” said Elisabeth R. Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York, a nonprofit antipoverty group, which is releasing the two-year study on Monday.


The state’s Department of Health acknowledges systemic problems, including the need for better reporting and enforcement, a spokesman, Michael Moran, said. A group of patient advocates and hospital administrators is being convened to develop a better system, he said, and the department is engaged in “a comprehensive data integrity project that will include the retention of an outside auditor.”

Senator Krueger has written to Commissioner Nirav Shah of the Department of Health, inquiring into steps the department is taking to increase accountability and advise patients and the public of their rights. Read the full Community Service Society report below:

CSS Report -- Incentivizing Patient Financial Assistance