Thursday, September 4, 2008
Continuing his investigation into tax-exempt hospitals, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a press release stating that he has written letters to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Chicago Medical Center based on news reports raising concerns about some of their practices. The story about the M.D. Anderson appeared in an April Wall Street Journal article (see previous blog entry) focusing on the adoption by some nonprofit hospitals, including Anderson, of up-front payment policies. The University of Chicago story appeared in a Washington Post article last month (see previous blog entry) discussing the Medical Center's alleged policy of steering poor and uninsured patients to neightborhood clinics and the role of Michelle Obama in developing that policy. In his letters, Senator Grassley has asked both institutions for detailed information about their organization and operations, including their billing practices, charity care policies, and compensation of senior employees. The letters are available through links in the press release.