The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is New York City's public hospital system consisting of 11 acute care hospitals, 6 Diagnostic and Treatment Centers, 4 long-term care facilities, a certified home health care agency and more than 80 community health clinics, including Communicare centers and Child Health Clinics. HHC has a mission to provide services for everyone who needs care, regardless of their ability to pay. In order to make health care services affordable for all New Yorkers, HHC created a new financial screening system called HHC OPTIONS which provides enrollment assistance to public health insurance eligible individuals and a sliding scale fee for those with limited income who do not qualify for public health insurance programs. The fee a patient will be charged is based on income and family size. For example, for an adult the fee for an emergency room or a clinic visit will cost $15 - $60. The fee covers almost all outpatient services, including blood tests and most x-rays. For a child, the outpatient cost is lower than for adults. Individuals and families receive health care at HHC affiliated hospitals and outpatient centers.
HHC is aware that many patients that receive medical treatment at its facilities are immigrants, so it works to understand their concerns and fears. HHC staff is trained to respect and protect the privacy of all patients, including immigrants - documented and undocumented. Staff is trained to know about public health insurance programs that immigrants can use. Also, if the patient's primary language is not English, HHC makes a special effort to ensure that the patient is able to communicate with the doctor and other key staff. Much of HHC's information including many forms, has also been translated into languages spoken in New York City's communities.
HHC assists patients by helping them apply for public health insurance - Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Health Plus, EPIC (for seniors) and ADAP (for people with HIV/AIDS). If the person is not eligible for these programs, HHC will help the patient by reducing the fee the she is asked to pay.
HHC staff also works with patients who are admitted into the hospital for care to check their eligibility for health insurance coverage, but if they are not eligible, the amount they are charged is lower than their hospital bill. The staff will let patients know what information they need to help them determine what fee they will be charged.
If patients have no health insurance, or their insurance does not cover some of the services that are needed, specially trained Financial Counselors will work with patients to figure the type of financial assistance for which they are eligible.
Individuals and families can call an HHC Financial Counselor at one of the phone numbers listed below for more information, to ask questions, and to find the closest HHC facility to them so they can get the medical care and services that they need.