Health care access for all New Yorkers now available in all boroughs

by PDM STAFF

| Image credit to NYC Health + Hospitals

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today launched NYC Care in Manhattan and Queens ahead of schedule, delivering on the Administration’s promise of guaranteed health care access for all New Yorkers citywide, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. In a statement, the Mayor’s Office said since its launch in August 2019 in the Bronx, and expansion to Brooklyn and Staten Island in January 2020, nearly 30,000 New Yorkers have enrolled and obtained access to high-quality health care across the city.

“Our mission to bring affordable, quality healthcare to every New Yorker has never felt more urgent,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With NYC Care now available citywide, we are delivering on this promise and setting a nationwide model of what it means to provide low-cost, affordable health care.”

“Through the support of the Mayor and our community partners, we are excited to reach the city-wide expansion of NYC Care ahead of schedule, making it easier for New Yorkers who need us most to connect to the quality health care we deliver with excellence, cultural competence, and compassion” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “After all, good health care starts with good primary care, especially during a pandemic and during the post-COVID recovery period. With our determination, NYC Care will continue to bridge health disparities to make New Yorkers healthier as our communities continue to face the challenges of this pandemic and beyond.”

The City will collaborate with 19 community-based organizatiuons (CBOs) to expand NYC Care membership in neighborhoods most affected by COVID1-9 and enroll uninsured New Yorkers in the program. These CBOs were selected through a request for proposal process in July. Outreach will be conducted in key languages. In addition to the new CBOs, CBOS that are currently active in in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island will receive a seven-month extension to their contracts as well.

The City will also spearhead a public awareness campaign in key languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Urdu, Bengali, and French, in key neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens and near all NYC Health + Hospital facilities, including three subway station and bus shelter ad dominations, neighborhood locations, and LinkNYC terminals. In addition to these platforms, NYC Care will also take advantage of guerrilla marketing, coordinating street marketing teams, storefront and in-store posters in bodegas, laundromats, barbershops, check-cashing locations, and more.

According to the statement, to date, NYC Care’s nearly 30,000 members have had over 85,000 provider visits since the beginning of the program, with over 17,000 telehealth visits and over 30,000 prescriptions filled during new extended pharmacy hours. Further, nearly 20,000 members have been screened for depression since the program began and have been connected to additional supports and services when appropriate. NYC Health + Hospitals is also hiring 26 new primary care providers and specialists, expanding on existing care teams at Queens and Manhattan NYC Health + Hospitals locations. To date, NYC Health + Hospitals has hired over 20 new providers at facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, and continues to recruit to hire over 60 new medical providers to serve new patients through NYC Care.

Additional information on NYC Care, including brochures and translated material languages, is available here.

Also, since its launch in the Bronx, NYC Care has dramatically changed the way the City’s public health system connects people to personalized, coordinated primary, preventive and specialty care. With the expansion of NYC Care to Queens and Manhattan, new NYC Care members will receive a primary care appointment within two weeks. All NYC Care members also receive a membership card, access to language interpretation services, expanded pharmacy hours within the NYC Health + Hospitals system, and a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can ask questions about NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills. Those who are eligible and want to enroll in the program should call 646-NYC-CARE.

“Access to affordable primary care and prescriptions is critically important during a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet, particularly for communities of color that have been hit hardest by COVID-19,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I welcome the expansion of NYC Care to Manhattan and urge eligible uninsured New Yorkers to take full advantage of the benefits of this important program.”

“As Chair of the Committee on Hospitals, I am relieved that NYC Care will finally serve New Yorkers in all five Boroughs. COVID ravaged low-income communities of color because of systemic barriers to insurance and care, and now thousands of previously uninsured or underinsured New Yorkers will have access to life-saving primary and specialty care. NYC Care and its partner network will play an immeasurable role in our city’s recovery, and I look forward to a future where more New Yorkers are able to access high quality, affordable care as we keep fighting for universal health coverage,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.

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