Some Hospitals “Seem to Forget Tax Exemption is a Privilege, Not a Right,” Writes U.S. Senator
September 27, 2017 | Risk Management News
Garnished wages, accounts turned over to collections agents, and withholding of services until patients prove an ability to pay have occurred at some of the nation's not-for-profit, tax-exempt hospitals, according to a September 18, 2017, commentary in STAT News. The commentary was written by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. Misdoings outlined by the senator include a Houston cancer center at which a woman seeking leukemia treatment was not admitted until she produced $105,000 in cash; a Chicago medical center that Grassley wrote “pushed to steer poor, uninsured patients with non-urgent needs" toward local clinics rather than admitting them to its emergency room; and a hospital in Missouri that referred low-income patients to a for-profit collection agency without offering charity care. Each of these examples is “contrary to the philosophy behind tax exemption," the senator wrote.