Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Community Health Systems    CYH

SummaryQuotesChartsNewsAnalysisCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

Community Health : Hospitals accused of billing the poor instead of offering state-mandated charity care

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
10/17/2017 | 09:16am CEST

Oct. 17--Washington's attorney general filed lawsuits against hospitals in Tacoma and Olympia last month, accusing them of withholding charity care from thousands of low-income patients.

The suits say low-income patients at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and Capital Medical Center in Olympia were subjected to aggressive tactics, such as being required to pay hundreds of dollars before they could have surgeries. The patients weren't told they could be eligible for free or reduced-cost care, as required by state law.

The litigation follows a similar lawsuit filed in June against the former owner of two Spokane-area hospitals: Deaconess and Valley.

Empire Health Foundation sued Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, alleging the for-profit hospital chain failed to provide up to $110 million worth of charity care promised to patients during its tenure in Spokane.

Antony Chiang, Empire Health Foundation's president, said the foundation's lawsuit has helped draw attention to Washington's charity care requirements.

Until recently, "no one was holding the hospitals accountable," Chiang said.

State law requires hospitals to provide charity care to people who are near the federal poverty level. Hospitals must alert patients verbally and in writing about the availability of charity care and screen patients for eligibility before attempting to collect payment. In addition, patients are only required to provide one income-related document to prove their eligibility.

The owners of all three hospitals are disputing the lawsuits' claims.

St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma is run by CHI Franciscan Health. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson noted in a news release that the nonprofit hospital's stated mission is to care for the poor and vulnerable.

At St. Joseph, however, employees were told not to volunteer information about charity care, even if patients were "obviously low-income or homeless," according to the attorney general's lawsuit.

The lawsuit also said a hospital contractor trained its employees to demand upfront payments from patients while concealing their right to apply for charity care.

A former employee of the contractor, Conifer Health Solutions, told the attorney general's office she was trained to tell patients they had to pay a deposit before receiving a charity care application, the suit said.

When patients were able to apply for charity care, the lawsuit said, St. Joseph required them to provide multiple documents to prove income eligibility, in violation of state law.

The lawsuit also alleges that St. Joseph's senior management was aware of the problems as early as 2014 but didn't act.

Cary Evans, CHI Franciscan's vice president of communications and government relations, said the organization is committed to providing "the highest quality care to everyone who needs it."

She said CHI Franciscan covers the cost of care for people with incomes lower than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which goes beyond state requirements. Last year, the organization provided $20 million in charity care to more than 19,000 patients, she said.

The attorney general's office accused Capital Medical Center in Olympia of employing similar tactics in a separate lawsuit. The for-profit hospital is owned by RCCH Healthcare Partners.

Capital Medical Center's former chief executive said in a 2012 meeting that the hospital needed "to get something" out of every patient and told staff not to let uninsured patients "leave without paying anything," the suit said.

Capital threatened to cancel medical appointments and surgeries if patients did not agree to make upfront payments, the lawsuit said. Patients were not informed of their right to apply for charity care, the suit said. When they did apply, they were required to provide up to eight documents to prove income eligibility, the lawsuit said.

Jeff Atwood, a spokesman for RCCH Healthcare Partners, said Capital Medical Center worked to resolve charity care issues after the attorney general's office alerted the hospital of problems in 2016. Atwood said the hospital now exceeds the state's requirements for charity care.

He said the company was disappointed by the lawsuit, because RCCH Healthcare officials thought they were on track for an "amicable resolution."

The Spokane lawsuit said Community Health Systems agreed to meet or exceed the average level of hospital charity care spending in Eastern Washington, as required by the state, but failed to meet that pledge.

Empire Health Foundation was formed with the proceeds from CHS' 2008 purchase of Deaconess and Valley hospitals. The nonprofit foundation's mission is to improve the health of the region's residents. The foundation also is tasked with overseeing CHS' contracts and agreements from the sale, which includes the charity care provisions.

CHS asked the district judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Deaconess and Valley hospitals fulfilled obligations to the state and actually exceeded charity care requirements.

Both hospitals were sold June 30 to Multicare Health System of Tacoma, which is not part of the lawsuit.

Last week, a judge ruled the charity care claims against CHS can proceed.

The case hinges on "whether CHS made reasonable efforts to meet or exceed the regional average of charity care on a year-to-year basis," said Eleanor Hamburger, a Seattle attorney who is representing Empire Health Foundation.

___

(c)2017 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)

Visit The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) at www.spokesman.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS
10/17 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Hospitals accused of billing the poor instead of offering sta..
10/12 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Completes Divestiture of Five Pennsylvania Hospitals
10/12 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Completes Divestiture of Weatherford, Texas Hospital
10/09 MONDAY SECTOR LAGGARDS : Hospital & Medical Practitioners, Apparel Stores
10/04 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Tower Health's new hospitals had a $17M operating loss in fis..
10/04 COMMUNITY HEALTH : South Jersey hospital is on life support, lawmakers say, seei..
10/02 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Completes Divestiture of Weatherford, Texas Hospital
10/02 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Independence Blue Cross Members Impacted by Changing Ownershi..
10/02 QUORUM HEALTH CORPORATION (NYSE : QHC) Files An 8-K Departure of Directors or Ce..
09/30 COMMUNITY HEALTH : Reading Health completes purchase of five hospitals from Comm..
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
10/17 Healthcare sector on the move after Senate deal
10/13 PREMARKET LOSERS AS OF 9 : 05 am
10/13 Health stocks face a down day on Trump order to end subsidies for ACA insurer..
10/13 Trump's plan to end health insurance subsidies bearish for hospitals - Mizuho
10/13 WALL STREET BREAKFAST : The Beat Goes On For Global Stocks As Records Continue T..
Financials ($)
Sales 2017 15 980 M
EBIT 2017 942 M
Net income 2017 -327 M
Debt 2017 12 824 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 -
P/E ratio 2018
EV / Sales 2017 0,85x
EV / Sales 2018 0,89x
Capitalization 738 M
Chart COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS
Duration : Period :
Community Health Systems Technical Analysis Chart | CYH | US2036681086 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishBearishNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 7,23 $
Spread / Average Target 12%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Wayne T. Smith Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Tim L. Hingtgen President, Chief Operating Officer & Director
Thomas J. Aaron Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Lynn T. Simon Chief Quality Officer
Manish Shah Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS3.22%738
FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE0.53%29 534
HCA HEALTHCARE INC0.76%27 162
LABORATORY CORP. OF AMERICA HOLDINGS16.53%15 331
QUEST DIAGNOSTICS INC-0.91%12 485
DAVITA INC-14.75%10 885