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As the number of people without health insurance begins to climb again, it’s worth remembering a baseline question in health care: Who pays when the patient can’t?
Washington’s attorney general has filed lawsuits against hospitals in Tacoma and Olympia, accusing them of withholding charity care from thousands of low-income patients. The litigation follows a similar lawsuit filed in June against the former owner of two Spokane-area hospitals.
The owner of Deaconess and Valley hospitals said it will “vigorously contest” a lawsuit alleging it shorted local charity care spending by up to $110 million.
Deaconess and Valley hospitals’ owner failed to provide up to $110 million worth of charity care promised to low-income patients during its tenure in Spokane, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Spokane hospitals have given away $53.3 million worth of medical care to the poor during the first nine months of this year as job losses and wage and benefit cuts affect more people. During the same time period last year the hospitals had recorded $36.3 million of charity care.