When Illinoisans seek care at nonprofit hospitals, which are designed to provide charitable care and community services, they shouldn’t have to worry about being slammed with egregiously high medical bills — but too often, they are. In exchange for tax breaks, nonprofit hospitals are supposed to ensure equitable access to quality health care by providing discounted services and charitable care to those in need. In reality, however, many nonprofit hospitals enact practices that put profits ahead of patients. A recent study in Health Affairs confirmed that nonprofit hospitals spend less on charity care than for-profit hospitals of comparable size. It’s not surprising then that in nearly every state, nonprofit hospitals are accumulating “fair share deficits,” meaning they receive more in tax breaks than what they spend on charity care for those in need.
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