New York State Department of Health Announces Indigent Care Workgroup

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 1, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health todayannounced a temporary workgroup that will focus on how to best compensate hospitals that provide essential health care services to the State's most vulnerable patients, in particular care that is uncompensated, also referred to as indigent care. The workgroup will convene its first meeting this month and be charged with making policy recommendations regarding disproportionate share hospital and indigent care pool funding.

"To truly build a healthier New York for all, we must ensure that everyone in our state has access to care regardless of their ability to pay," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Through our Medicaid redesign efforts and our success in cutting the State's uninsured rate by half, we have come a long way in reducing health care costs and increasing the number of New Yorkers who have a payment source for the care they need. I am confident that this workgroup will build on that success and recommend an equitable indigent care funding model."

The Indigent Care Workgroup Co-Chairs are:

  • Bea Grause, Health Care Association of New York State (HANYS)
  • Elisabeth Benjamin, Community Services Society of New York
  • Dan Sheppard, Deputy Commissioner, NYSDOH

Additional workgroup members will be identified by the co-chairs, and will include hospital associations, providers, workforce representatives and consumer groups. Those wishing to be considered for workgroup participation and haven't already done so are encouraged to email the Department at by no later than June 6, 2018.

Since 1983, New York State has set aside a pool of money to underwrite a portion of the uncompensated care costs incurred by hospitals. Initially termed the Hospital Bad Debt and Charity Care Pool and more recently the Hospital Indigent Care Pool. This Pool currently distributes $1.1 billion annually in Medicaid funds to hospitals through the State's current reimbursement methodology established in 2013.