NY Hospitals Saddle Uninsured Patients with Massive Debt Despite $100s of Millions in Gov’t Aid

From Democracy Now!

As the ranks of the uninsured continue to rise, a major new study has found that most New York medical centers are violating rules intended to help patients who are uninsured and cannot afford healthcare. Two-thirds of hospitals studied either violated the law, failed to comply with state guidelines or created additional barriers to financial assistance, despite receiving a combined total of more than $463 million from the state’s Indigent Care Pool. We’re joined by three guests: Elisabeth Benjamin of the Community Service Society of New York, which conducted the two-year study; Jessica Curtis, the Hospital Accountability Project director at Community Catalyst, who says the problem is not unique to New York; and Hope Rubel, an uninsured patient who was sued some $88,000 in hospital bills by a hospital that took in more than $50 million in aid that same year. “[It] infuriated me [that] all this money is sitting in these hospitals’ bank accounts,” Rubel says.


  1. Lynn Petrovich, CPA on February 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    heard Elizabeth Benyamin’s completely passionate and rational outline of how NY hospitals are screwing the poor.
    I’m a CPA who has done extensive research into the shenanigans of hospital’s billing to poor and under insured patients.
    The grossed up charges and the aggressive collection tactics are capitalism at it’s finest.

    My report “Sticker Shock” is attached.

    I did glance at the Report prepared by your agency.
    I did not see your Report say that most of these hospitals are nonprofit entities.
    That is they pay NO sales tax, NO property tax, NO income tax.
    and they are allowed this exemption for “serving the public good”

    NY Presbyterian Hospital is such a nonprofit.

    Here’s a few tidbits from their 2009 Form 990

    They pull in $3.2 Billion a year in revenue

    Their revenue for their stated purpose – i.e. care of patients was $3,080,770,817
    The actual cost of that care was $2,616,962,965
    FOR A NET REVENUE OVER COSTS OF $463 MILLION (so there’s even more reason to not take people to court?)

    They have $2.7 BILLION in surplus (cash in the bank)
    clearly they are not losing any money.

    The CEO pulls in $2.8 million a year.
    There are FIVE people who pull in over $1 million a year
    The top TEN people collective pull in $11 million

    The average salary of the rank and file is $66,700

    This is a JOKE and has to stop
    When will people rise up?

    Thanks for doing your part

    Lynn Petrovich, CPA

  2. Chrigid on February 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    It would be good if you could name all the hospitals playing this game