In a new study NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States serving more than one million patients annually, has earned the highest rating for sharing hospital pricing data and meeting federal requirements to help consumers understand the cost of health care. The public health system received the highest score of 5 in an April 18 study by Turquoise Health, which analyzed pricing data posted online by more than 5,300 hospitals across the country. The public health system was among the top 1% of hospitals nationwide, and one of only three healthcare organizations in New York State to earn the top rating. Since 2021, federal law has required hospitals to publicly post information about their standard prices and negotiated discount rates for common health services to encourage consumers to compare prices and to promote competition. In addition to posting price data online, NYC Health + Hospitals has extensive financial counseling support services for patients to make health care affordable and accessible.
“We’re committed to providing patients with the best information possible so they can make informed decisions about their care. This includes sharing our hospital charges and providing an online tool to estimate out-of-pocket costs for the most common services we provide,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “But our commitment to help consumers understand the cost of health care services goes deeper than posting the required price information. Because of our long-standing mission to serve poor and uninsured New Yorkers, we have built a robust financial counseling support system to help patients understand costs, avoid debt, sign up for insurance coverage they may not know they qualify for, and most importantly, access the medical care they need regardless of ability to pay or insurance status.”
NYC Health + Hospitals has a cadre of about 400 financial counselors who educate patients about insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs and help uninsured and underinsured patients enroll in coverage or obtain financial assistance. They are relentless advocates for patient needs and ensure that doctor visits and other essential services are covered for the patients. In the last year, this essential patient access and managed care staff has counseled more than 200,000 patients and helped more than 100,000 New Yorkers to sign up for health insurance.
To help make medical care affordable and accessible, the public health system also offers NYC Care for New Yorkers who are ineligible for or can’t afford health insurance.
Turquoise Health is a company that advocates for healthcare price transparency and offers related services in billing compliance and contracting. Among the statistics disclosed in its 2023 Price Transparency Impact Report, 59 hospital systems received the top score of 5. Additionally, 84% of hospitals have posted pricing data as of Q1 in 2023, compared to just 65% in Q4 of 2022.