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Jdubman / Wikimedia Commons

Two hospitals in Spokane, Washington, owned by for-profit Community Health Systems have failed to provide $110 million in free and discounted care to the area's poorest residents, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal district court.

The Empire Health Foundation was created several years ago after CHS bought the hospitals as a way to ensure people got the care they needed. (CHS is now selling the hospitals.) But the foundation alleged in the lawsuit that CHS was "part of a planned effort to drive indigent patients away from the hospitals, and, if they nonetheless sought services from the hospitals, to overcharge them." CHS said it will "vigorously contest the baseless allegations."

Go deeper: In exchange for not paying taxes, not-for-profit hospitals are expected to provide certain levels of charity care. But several analyses, like this from Modern Healthcare, have shown hospitals aren't doing enough.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.