Jun 12, 2017

Lawsuit accuses hospital chain of stinting on charity care

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.

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Maryland becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday he is ordering residents to stay at home effective 8 p.m. due to the coronavirus, except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: Maryland is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 17 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 741,030 — Total deaths: 35,305 — Total recoveries: 156,838.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 143,532 — Total deaths: 2,572 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan
  4. Public health updates: — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus death toll estimate is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Living with the coronavirus
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Podcast: Living with the coronavirus

Over 143,000 people in the U.S. have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them is Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz, who joins Dan to discuss his unusual symptoms, his hospital experience and the complications of quarantining with a family.