New York Hospitals Bilk Poor People Out of Money: Report
Some New York hospitals are in the business of screwing over poor people as much as they are in the business of providing healthcare, a new report has found.
According to the Community Service Society, most of the state's medical centers tend to violate debt collection regulations -- which protect indigent patients from aggro bill collectors.
There are 2.8 million New Yorkers without health insurance, according to CSS report -- and hospitals and community medical centers provide the majority of their healthcare.
Though the Federal Affordable Care Act will theoretically reduce that number to 1.8 million, the $1.2 billion New York Indigent Care Pool still provides money for their medical care.
What the study finds is that hospitals routinely pocket money from this fund, but still treat low-income people abusively.
Check it out: Hospitals are supposed to help indigents get access to this money.
Instead of pointing them toward financial aid forms -- as required by law -- the majority of hospitals just don't give them the apps, the report claims.
Some hospitals ask for additional docs -- an extra, unnecessary roadblock -- and many don't tell patients about discounts for which they're eligible.
The medical centers which go after patients who cant pay still collect money from the charity fund without any resistance, the report notes. This includes liens against patients' homes.
State law requires that hospitals help patients find a way to pay before sicking debt collectors on them.
(Hat tip New York Times)
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.