How America’s largest municipal hospital system is incorporating legal services to help its patients

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A new case study released today by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and America’s Essential Hospitals delves into the inner-workings of the largest medical-legal partnership in the country between NYC Health + Hospitals and the LegalHealth division of the New York Legal Assistance Group. It illustrates both how the use of patient-facing legal services fits into the health system’s mission, and how LegalHealth structures a variety of legal clinics across the NYC Health + Hospitals system to meet the legal needs of many different types of marginalized patients. In 2018, LegalHealth handled over 9,800 new matters for 7,200 patients referred by physicians, social workers, and community health workers at hospital systems across New York City. All told, one funder’s metrics quantified the value from LegalHealth’s assistance at approximately $11.6 million.

Lessons learned from this partnership serve as an example to other public or non-profit hospital systems that may be interested in incorporating legal services into a holistic strategy to address the health-harming social and other non-medical factors that affect their patients. Click here to read the full case study, “A System-Level Approach to Addressing Health-Harming Legal and Social Needs.”