Despite fiscally dire times, Governor Paterson retracted his call for greater accountability for the nearly $1 billion in payments issued to hospitals for charity care in his 21-day amendments.
Two years ago, New York enacted a law that required hospitals to show that 10% of charity care funding went to provide care to real patients, linking each dollar to an actual person. This year’s originally proposed budget moved to increase the level of accountability from 10% to 100%.
The Governor’s 21-day amendment is seen as a decisive blow to the 2.7 million uninsured individuals in New York who rely on the hospital charity care system for needed health care. At a time of scarce resources and increasing numbers of uninsured, advocates argue that New York should switch to an accountable system that ties payments to patients, not providers.
HCFANY urges the Legislature to make charity care funds 100% transparent and accountable, thus ensuring a more fiscally responsible–and compassionate–New York.