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PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?


2020Talks - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Statewide Survey Looks at Hospital Discounting

March 27, 2008

Albany, NY - There's good news and bad news on the way New York hospitals handle their patients' financial health. In a major health care study released this week, researchers found many hospitals voluntarily offering New Yorkers even more financial aid than required by state law. However, it also says there are problems, including aggressive bill collection and failure to inform patients who are eligible for help.

Charlie Albanetti is with the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York, which surveyed nearly 100 hospitals statewide.

"Every 30 seconds someone in the United States declares bankruptcy due to high medical costs, and there are 2.2 million uninsured New Yorkers. Because of those two economic burdens, billing and collections practices within hospitals are of top importance for patients who are under financial hardship."

Albanetti would like to see the medical aid rules fine-tuned as part of the upcoming state budget, as a way to protect patients from bill collectors and to guarantee that hospitals fully inform patients about available discounts. Those steps would be in exchange for hospitals' annual taxpayer subsidies of $857 million.

"The need now comes down to whether or not hospitals are actually providing these discounts to patients who need them the most. We hope that the passage of the budget next week, or whenever it does come, will result in a new accounting formula for the distribution of the indigent care pool fund."

Albanetti says some hospitals' grades were hurt by aggressive collection efforts and a failure to inform patients of their eligibility for assistance.

"Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Western New York and the Buffalo region did best overall. The Capitol district and the Syracuse-Central New York region were the worst graded."

To view the full report online, visit citizenactionny.org.

Robert Knight/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NY