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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Medical debts erased for 17,000 former Deaconess, Valley patients

The debt relief comes from a settlement between the Empire Health Foundation and Community Health Systems, which owned the Spokane-area hospitals from 2008 to 2017. On average, those benefiting from the settlement will have roughly $2,800 in debt wiped from their credit reports.

Settlement erases $50 million in medical debt for thousands of former patients at Deaconess, Valley hospitals

Tennessee-based Community Health Systems will forgive up to $50 million in debt for people who received treatment at the Spokane-area hospitals between Nov. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2017, when the company owned the facilities. The settlement comes more than two years after the Empire Health Foundation sued CHS, alleging the company failed to provide levels of charity care – free or discounted treatment for low-income patients – that it had promised when buying the hospitals.

Ex-Rockwood CFO can sue clinic bosses

OLYMPIA – A former executive of Rockwood Clinic who said he resigned rather than falsify a financial statement can sue his former bosses for wrongful termination in state court, the Washington Supreme Court said Thursday. Gregg Becker, the clinic’s former chief financial officer, isn’t barred from a state lawsuit by the federal laws that govern publicly traded companies like Community Health Systems Inc., which owns the clinic, the court said in a 6-3 decision.

For-Profit Hospitals Mark Up Prices Because There’s Nothing to Stop Them

If you think costs would come down if hospitals were all owned and operated by big for-profit corporations like Hospital Corporation of America, you might want to take a look at a study published last week by the journal Health Affairs. Of the 50 US hospitals that mark up prices the most, 49 of them are part of for-profit hospital chains, according to the study’s authors, Ge Bai of Washington & Lee University and Gerard Anderson of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Cyberattack hits Rockwood

Hospital operator Community Health Systems said a cyberattack took information on 4.5 million patients from its computer network earlier this year. The theft includes information from CHS’ Rockwood Health System in Spokane, which is made up of Rockwood Clinic, Deaconess Hospital and Valley Hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Providence turns to online interpreters

Providence Health, the region’s largest medical service provider, has turned to online interpreters to help non-English-speakers receive care from nurses, doctors or therapists. The Providence network recently announced that more than 30 of its facilities in the Western United States are using a video interpreting company.

Hospitals backpedal on request for city ethics probe

Deaconess and Valley hospital officials are abandoning their request for an ethics investigation of three Spokane City Council members who used city letterhead to express concerns about medical staffing levels during an ongoing labor dispute.

Valley Hospital turns away nurses, others after strike

Valley Hospital has locked out at least 80 nurses and other employees in the aftermath of Wednesday’s one-day strike and the hiring of temporary replacement workers. The lockout will be lifted Saturday, but the problems dividing unionized staff and hospital administrators will linger. Nurses have been working under a contract that expired a year ago. Other health care workers at Valley and Deaconess Hospital who went on strike have been working without a contract for months.