Most NYC hospitals making charity care notifications

While there's some gaps, it appears that most hospitals in New York City are complying with a new state law requiring them to tell uninsured patients that they could qualify for state financial assistance. The new law requires all hospitals in the state to tell patients without health insurance verbally, in writing and through conspicuous signs that they could be eligible for funding through a $847 billion state charity care hospital fund.

To make sure city hospitals were on board, the City Council recently sent investigators posing as patients to call and visit each of the hospitals to ask about financial aid. The results? Of the city's 59 hospitals, 22 percent had no signs posted. Meanwhile, at nine hospitals, staff members didn't provide information on possible financial assistance even when prompted--and at five of those, staff members said patients would get no care if they couldn't pay. Seems like the investigation was a good idea.

To learn more about the investigation:
- read this article in The New York Times