August 15, 2019
NYC Care Will Make Primary Care More Accessible and Affordable Across all 5 Boroughs
NEW YORK—NYC Health + Hospitals announced today that NYC Care, a new health access program that is a key component of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to guarantee accessible and affordable health care for all New Yorkers, has enrolled more than 2,000 New Yorkers from every zip code of the Bronx since the August 1 program launch in the borough two weeks ago. In addition, 100 percent of patients enrolled in NYC Care were offered a first appointment within two weeks with a primary care provider who coordinates all treatment and services needed, and there were nearly 600 low-cost prescriptions filled during the new extended pharmacy hours. To prepare for the program roll-out, the seven NYC Health + Hospitals patient care facilities in the Bronx added new staff and evening and weekend hours to accommodate members. There are now more than 70 primary care providers in the Bronx seeing members. The program is on track to meet the Bronx enrollment goal of 10,000 patients in the first six months.
NYC Care is the new no- or low-cost health care access program of NYC Health + Hospitals for New Yorkers who are not eligible for insurance or who cannot afford it. The program, which is now operating in the Bronx and will be available citywide by 2020, is expected to dramatically change the way the City’s public health system connects people to personalized, coordinated primary and preventive care at its 70+ patient care locations throughout the five boroughs, including 11 hospitals and its Gotham Health Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) network. NYC Care offers affordable medications day or night, culturally responsive care, extensive language access and interpretation services, and provides new 24/7 customer service support. Eligible New Yorkers can enroll by calling 646-NYC-CARE to meet with a financial counselor at a health system patient care site and receive a personalized NYC Care membership card in the mail.
“In New York City, healthcare is a fundamental right, not a privilege. That’s why we launched the most comprehensive health care access program in the country—providing coverage to New Yorkers unable to access affordable insurance,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With over 2,000 New Yorkers enrolled in NYC Care in just two weeks, we are making that right a reality to all those who need it.”
“We invited New Yorkers to unlock their right to health care with dignity and respect, and they have taken us up on that offer. We are on track to guarantee every New Yorker, starting with the Bronx, their own primary care provider who’s going to take care of them and offer continuity of care to keep them healthy and avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “After 30 years of medical practice, I can confidently say that’s what makes a difference – seeing people over time and knowing that when you have a problem, there is somebody that you can go to who knows you and can connect you with all the health care needs you’ll have at every stage of life.”
“Patients are bringing their new cards into visits and are already seeing the benefits of NYC care membership,” said NYC Care Executive Director Marielle Kress. “A brand new NYC Care patient came to see a primary care doctor on a Friday with an old pill bottle and only one pill left. In the past, that patient would have likely ended up going to the emergency room over the weekend for his medication because he could not wait until Monday. Thanks to the expanded pharmacy hours of the program, the patient was able to get the medication that same night.”
About NYC Care
NYC Care launched August 1, 2019 in the Bronx marked with a “Day of Action” when dozens of staff and volunteers from various City agencies and community-based organizations conducted a massive street outreach effort. They gathered at 18 busy subway stations across the borough, distributing 18,000 flyers in seven different languages to promote the new health access program for New Yorkers who are not eligible for insurance or cannot afford it.
NYC Care gives New Yorkers in the Bronx access to a dedicated primary care provider who will coordinate all treatment and services needed, allows them to receive coordinated, preventive care and routine screenings, gives them access to specialty care services, allows them to make appointments and navigate their health care needs through a new 24/7 customer service center. NYC Care members also get access to affordable medications day or night.
The customized membership card also details the specific discounted costs for primary care, specialty visits, and prescription drugs for each member based on household size and income. All services are provided by NYC Health + Hospitals and all information about patient care and treatment is kept private and confidential in accordance with the law.
In January 2019, Mayor de Blasio announced the launch of the largest, most comprehensive initiative in the nation to guarantee health care for every New Yorker. When fully implemented, New York City will ensure the estimated 600,000 New Yorkers currently without insurance are connected to health care – including NYC’s Public Option, MetroPlus – or have direct access to the nation’s largest public health care system through the NYC Care program. Of the 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers, approximately half of them are currently ineligible for health insurance or unable to afford it based on the Affordable Care Act definition, and would be eligible to enroll in NYC Care. The $100 million program will be implemented in all five boroughs by the end of 2020, ensuring that all New Yorkers to have the health care access they need.