NYC Health + Hospitals Provides Update on Telehealth Abortion Care, Which Offers Medication by Mail to Eligible Patients in New York City
With NYC Health + Hospitals' Virtual ExpressCare telehealth service, patients in NYC can speak to a provider on demand via video or phone from the comfort of their own home Patients considering abortion are assessed by a clinician and receive education about their options; if eligible, patients can receive medication by mail or schedule an in-person appointment Medication arrives at an NYC address in a few days Last week, Mayor Adams announced "Women Forward NYC," a more than $43 million investment aimed at making New York City a national leader on gender equity, with the ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in the United States
With NYC Health + Hospitals' Virtual ExpressCare telehealth service, patients in NYC can speak to a provider on demand via video or phone from the comfort of their own home
Patients considering abortion are assessed by a clinician and receive education about their options; if eligible, patients can receive medication by mail or schedule an in-person appointment
Medication arrives at an NYC address in a few days
Last week, Mayor Adams announced "Women Forward NYC," a more than $43 million investment aimed at making New York City a national leader on gender equity, with the ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in the United States
Feb 02, 2024
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced an update on its telehealth abortion care through the health system’s Virtual ExpressCare service. In October 2023, NYC Health + Hospitals launched telehealth abortion access — becoming the first public health system in the nation to do so. Since its launch, the service has provided 870 virtual visits, mailed over 230 abortion kits, and referred 360 patients for in-person care. The average wait time for a virtual visit is less than 5 minutes. Over 73% of the patients identify as people of color.
The service allows patients in NYC seeking abortion care to speak to a New York State-licensed health care professional on demand by video or phone for an assessment, counseling and access to medication if eligible. The telehealth service is available 7 days a week, 9am – 9pm, and will provide patients with access to safe and legal abortion care. The NYC Health + Hospitals Virtual ExpressCareservice is available in over 200 languages and can be accessed at expresscare.nyc or by calling 1-718-360-8981. A flyer about the program is available in 13 languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Russian, Simple Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Urdu.
In addition, NYC Health + Hospitals offers access to a full spectrum of medication and procedural abortion services at their hospital-based clinics. Patients wishing to make an in-person appointment for obstetric and gynecologic services, including abortion care, should call (844) NYC-4NYC.
“NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare makes it easy and convenient to access care, and we are excited to now offer abortion care,” said Erfan Karim, MPH, Executive Director, NYC Health + Hospitals Virtual ExpressCare. “When you contact Virtual ExpressCare, you will be connected to a provider on-demand. We’re here to provide you confidential, immediate care.”
“As our country faces a devastating loss of reproductive rights, New Yorkers should know that they can access safe and legal abortion care from NYC Health + Hospitals,” said Marisa Nadas, MD, MPH, NYC Health + Hospitals Reproductive Health Clinical Lead and Virtual ExpressCare Associate Medical Director.“By offering access to assessment and counseling for abortion care — as well as the possibility of a remote medication abortion — through Virtual ExpressCare, we are navigating around barriers people face in coming for in-person appointments and further opening up access.”
The telehealth abortion service by NYC Health + Hospitals is based in and for New York City. Patients must attest to being in New York City at the time of the call and must attest that they will be in New York City when they take the medication. Medication is mailed to New York City addresses only and is available to clinically eligible patients who are up to 10 weeks into their pregnancy.
Telehealth abortion care builds on NYC Health + Hospitals’ wide range of facility-based obstetric and gynecologic services, including primary care, family planning, abortion care, prenatal through delivery care, midwifery and referrals for doula services, postpartum care, breastfeeding and lactation services, breast exams, nutrition, behavioral health referrals, preventative care, and vaccinations. Gynecology services include menopause and fibroid treatments, as well as specialty practices for gynecologic cancers, pelvic pain and endometriosis. Patients wishing to make an in-person appointment can call 1-844-NYC-4NYC.
NYC Health + Hospitals Virtual ExpressCare is available in over 200 languages. In addition to abortion care, patients can receive immediate and confidential care for an array of physical and behavioral health concerns, including COVID-19, minor injuries, fever and flu, upper respiratory infections, anxiety, depression, and substance use issues. Virtual ExpressCare is available 24/7, 365 days a year to all New Yorkers at expresscare.nyc or calling 631-EXP-Care (631-397-2273).
Since its launch in 2020, Virtual ExpressCare has offered approximately 210,000 virtual visits. The service played a key role in the City’s and State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Virtual ExpressCare partnered with the New York State Department of Health to offer COVID-19 therapeutics through the State’s new COVID-19 hotline, 888-TREAT-NY. The service has provided same or next day life-saving COVID-19 therapeutic treatment.
NYC Health + Hospitals serves patients regardless of their ability to pay. The new telehealth abortion care will be covered like any other service. Patients with insurance may need to pay a copay. If patients cannot afford to pay or are uninsured, Virtual ExpressCare will provide care and connect patients to trained financial counselors who can help them enroll in health insurance coverage or financial assistance through NYC Care, Medicaid, and Medicare, with per visit fees as low as $0, depending on patients’ income and family size.
Last week, Mayor Adams announced “Women Forward NYC: An Action Plan for Gender Equity,” a more than $43 million investment aimed at making New York City a national leader on gender equity, with the ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in the United States. Supported through city dollars, private and public partnerships, academic institutions, and federal grant funding, the action plan addresses gender disparities by connecting women to professional development and higher-paying jobs; dismantling barriers to sexual, reproductive, and chronic health care; reducing gender-based violence against women; and providing holistic housing services, including for formerly incarcerated women and domestic and gender-based violence survivors.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.