Skip to main content

ABOUT
US

We The Patients is a project to empower patients to advocate for OUR health care. A space to amplify you – the consumer’s voice – to share your stories that relate to lack of access, high cost, and quality of your health care. This is a digital platform for you to share your experiences, concerns, and thoughts on how together, we can improve the health system in New York.

Want to be even more engaged? Become a patient advocate. Work with us to create real policy change in New York. From signing a petition to calling a decision maker, we will provide you in-person advocacy trainings, and take you on trips to Albany to talk with state policy makers to advocate for change. Whatever level of engagement you feel comfortable with, we will act as a catalyst for your empowerment.

People

We The Patients is led by YOU. Members of the Community Service Society of New York are helping lead the initiative.

Emily Dore – Manager, Digital Engagement
Chuck Bell–  Advisor
Claudia Knafo – Advisor
Amy Shefrin – Advisor
Kistein Monkhouse – Storytelling Advisor
Anna Allen –  Health Literacy Advisor
Karlynn Holland – Advisor 
Dina Magnes – Advisor
Caitlin Donovan – Advisor
Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin – Co-Chair
David R. Jones – Co-Chair


We The Patients is generally funded, in part by the New York State Health Foundation.

To learn more about the inspiration of this project (and a great read!) please check out Elisabeth Rosenthal’s An American Sickness.

Press

Number of patients sued by Capital Region hospitals over unpaid bills among highest in NY – WRGB Albany
Laws to Curb Surprise Medical Bills Might Be Inflating Health Care CostsThe Pew Charitable Trusts 
‘There’s no way I can pay for this:’ One of America’s largest hospital chains has been suing thousands of patients during the pandemicCNN
Medical debt is engulfing more people as pandemic takes its toll – NBC News
Pandemic Profiteers: Hospitals Sued Patients over Medical Debt While Getting Billions in Relief Aid – Democracy Now!
Protections from growing medical debt missing from budget priorities – WCNY
Pandemic hasn’t stopped nonprofit New York hospitals from suing patients over unpaid bills – Becker’s Hospital Review
Pandemic hasn’t stopped area’s hospitals from suing patients over unpaid bills – Albany Times-Union
Essay: Provide protections for New Yorkers who are managing medical bills, debt – Democrat and Chronicle
“Debía un millón de dólares”: el drama de quienes deben lidiar con las deudas médicas tras padecer de coronavirusUnivision 41 Nueva York
State of Black New York: The racial divide in healthcare and education – WCBS
NYC hospitals dragging feet on price transparency – Health Exec
NY Hospitals Slow To Comply With New Price Transparency Rule That Took Effect This Month – Gothamist
Northwell’s 2,500 lawsuits against patients made headlines; hours later, they were rescindedBecker’s Hospital Review
Squawk on the Street: Michael DowlingCNBC
Breaking down Cuomo’s State of the State health care proposals – WCNY
Medical Debt and the Pandemic – WNYC
Northwell Health Promises To Stop Suing Patients Over Unpaid Medical Bills During Pandemic – Gothamist
This week’s biggest Winners and Losers – City and State New York
CSSNY’s Benjamin on Charitable Hospitals Suing Patients During COVID-19 – Spectrum News
Northwell Health says it will stop suing patients during pandemic – Modern Healthcare
Because of surge in Covid-19 cases, Northwell hits pause on bill collections – Newsday
One Hospital System Sued 2,500 Patients After Pandemic Hit – New York Times
Many workers who lost their jobs due to COVID need help finding health coverage – Fortune
How the Supreme Court’s case on the ACA could hurt New York – City and State New York
Financial downturn exacerbates medical debt burden – WCNY
Citing Lessons Learned, City Officials Outline Preparations, Cautious Optimism for Handling Second Potential Covid WaveGotham Gazette
Letter: Governor and Legislature should pass act to help patients with medical debt – Times Union
COVID-19 coverage safety net has plenty of holes in US – Fox 13 Memphis
“Beds Not Bodybags”: Activists Warn Hospital Closures Make NYC Vulnerable To Another COVID WaveGothamist
Dental patients must be protected from COVID surcharges, regulators sayNewsday
Shuttered Hospitals Limited Access to Health Care Amid PandemicNY 1
7 On Your Side Investigates: Testing centers in many non-white neighborhoods likely to be more crowdedABC 7 NY
She Survived the Coronavirus. Then She Got a $400,000 Medical Bill.New York Times
Dozens of NY’s hospitals closed. Then COVID-19 hit. Now marginalized patients are dying. Here’s whylohud
Her Genetic Test Revealed A Microscopic Problem – And A Jumbo Price Tag Kaiser Health News
Disrupting the Medical Debt Collection Highway Altarum Healthcare Value Hub
New York nonprofit hospitals have sued nearly 31,000 patients for unpaid bills
Becker’s Hospital Review 
Report: Hospital systems racking up lawsuits against low-income patients – Politico 
NY Hospitals Filed 31,000 Lawsuits Against Patients Over Four Years, New Report ShowsThe Gothamist
Hospitals Hit for Debt-Collection Practices – City Limits
NY’s Major Hospitals Have Filed Thousands of Lawsuits Against Patients – Crain’s New York Business
Roundtable: Coronavirus Is Best Case for Medicare for AllDemocracy Now!
The Art of Health Care Haggling – Full Frontal on TBS
New Bill Would Prevent NY Patients From Getting Stuck With Hidden ‘Facility Fees’ – Gothamist
Patient Who Questioned ‘Blank Check’ Financial Liability Form Turned Away Right Before Medical Procedure Gothamist
#PriceCheckNYC: Avoiding Care Because of the Money – WNYC
Welcome to the Club (That You Don’t Want to Join)Start Here (ABC News)
Why New York Is At The Center Of The Debate Over How To Fight Surprise Medical BillsGothamist
Why So Many Hospitals Are Suing Their PatientsThe Daily (The New York Times)
With Medical Bills Skyrocketing, More Hospitals Are Suing for Payment – The New York Times
What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill?  The Atlantic
Disgusting: Study Shows Hospitals Sending More and More Surprise Bills – The Daily Beast
What the proposed patient advocate office means for city hospitals – Crain’s New York Business
URBAN AGENDA: Giving Patients A Voice in the Health Care Policy DebateNew York Amsterdam News
Patients urged to share billing frustrations, organize to shape health policyBeckers Hospital Review
We Have to Solve This ProblemManhattan Times 
Abierto un espacio en la red para quejas sobre el sistema de salud El Diario 
Some local patients pay 10 times more than others for a common blood testCrain’s New York Business
Grassroots group to fight medical debt collection, surprise bills Crain’s New York Business 

Policy Work

How to get involved

We The Patients is powered by patient voices. Similar to other empowerment projects like Bill of the Month and Paying Till It Hurts, we are here to give you a platform to share your stories with other patients. Please get involved with our current campaigns.

Tell us your experience, tell us your concerns, tell us what we can do to help you. Start the conversation!

Email us at: wethepatients@cssny.org.

Facebook: /wethepatients

Twitter: @wethepatientsny 

Instagram: wethepatientsny