WBEZ | hospital http://www.wbez.org/tags/hospital Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Doctor-Flickr- caroline_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Host Tony Sarabia is back, and we talk about the recent CPS layoffs and how they may effect the education system? And with National Health Care on the horizon, we are taking a look at preventive care and its effect on our overwhelmed emergency care services.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 Uninsured patients sue Chicago nonprofit hospital http://www.wbez.org/news/uninsured-patients-sue-chicago-nonprofit-hospital-104105 <p><p>A lawsuit filed Thursday claims a nonprofit hospital in northwest Chicago failed to provide charity care to two low-income, uninsured patients, reopening a longstanding controversy in Illinois over whether hospitals are doing enough charitable work to qualify for lucrative tax exemptions.</p><p>Swedish Covenant Hospital repeatedly lost one patient&#39;s financial assistance application and threatened to send her bill to a collection agency, according to the lawsuit. The hospital incorrectly told another patient she was ineligible for assistance and demanded cash from her, the complaint alleges.</p><p>The practices amount to &quot;bureaucratic barriers&quot; that prevent eligible patients from getting free care, according to the lawsuit, and the hospital has a policy of attempting to collect from &quot;even the poorest of patients&quot; through bill collectors and wage garnishment.</p><p>The hospital gets about $8 million in annual tax breaks and owes the community a more reliable charity care system, the plaintiffs&#39; attorney Alan Alop of the legal services group LAF said at a press conference Thursday in Chicago. The lawsuit claims unfair practices under the Illinois consumer fraud law and seeks $50,000 in punitive damages and a change in hospital policy.</p><p>Swedish Covenant spokeswoman Leigh Ginther said Thursday she couldn&#39;t comment on the lawsuit, but she said every patient who is identified as uninsured is given an application for charity care and a personal explanation of the process.</p><p>&quot;It is the patient&#39;s responsibility to return the completed paperwork,&quot; Ginther said. The hospital reported $6.2 million in charity care expenses last year, nearly 3 percent of its net revenue.</p><p>Nearly 2 million Illinois residents are uninsured, or about 15 percent. The state constitution, court decisions and state law require Illinois hospitals that receive tax exemptions to provide charity care, but until this year the definition of charity wasn&#39;t clear.</p><p>The lawsuit comes as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is writing new standards on hospital charity care as required by a law passed earlier this year.</p><p>A Chicago-based advocacy group, the Fair Care Coalition, wants Madigan to recommend that a standard, universal financial assistance application be used by all Illinois hospitals. The group also wants a thorough reporting mechanism so the public can check that hospitals are obeying the law, said Janna Simon of the coalition.</p><p>At the press conference, plaintiff Ramona Ortiz-Patino described filling out multiple applications for financial assistance and later being told the hospital hadn&#39;t received them. An unemployed diabetic, she was facing charges for emergency room visits for extreme pain in her right leg.</p><p>After Ortiz-Patino submitted a third application, a hospital employee telephoned her and &quot;let me know that my bill would be going to collections because I hadn&#39;t paid it,&quot; she said. &quot;I didn&#39;t understand why the hospital was threatening me when they knew I had zero income and I submitted three applications&quot; for financial assistance.</p><p>How much charity care should nonprofit hospitals provide? The issue has been brewing for years in Illinois.</p><p>In 2009, two large Illinois hospital systems settled class-action lawsuits that claimed they had overcharged uninsured patients. In separate settlements, Resurrection Health Care and Advocate Health Care agreed to pay refunds to tens of thousands of individuals.</p><p>Next, a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court ruling suggested nonprofit hospitals that behave like businesses shouldn&#39;t qualify for tax exemptions. Citing that court decision, the state Department of Revenue denied tax exemptions to three hospitals in 2011 and signaled more denials for other hospitals could follow.</p><p>That set off a storm of controversy the Legislature addressed this year.</p><p>Nonprofit hospitals won a broad definition of charity care from Springfield in a new state law that will allow them to continue their tax-exempt status. Hospitals were required to provide free care to patients of certain income levels, and the attorney general was directed to write standards for hospital financial assistance applications.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 10:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/uninsured-patients-sue-chicago-nonprofit-hospital-104105 Global Activism: Chicago doctor plans to build a hospital in his hometown in Nigeria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-23/global-activism-chicago-doctor-plans-build-hospital-his-hometown-nigeria <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/AMH 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Every Thursday on <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">Global Activism</a></em> we hear about an individual who's decided to work to make the world a better place.</p><p>Nigeria-born Dr. Godwin Onyema came to the U.S. in 1974. For more than 30 years, he’s dreamed of providing quality medical care for the community he left behind in Nigeria's Anambra state. Godwin’s drive to make this hospital a reality began with his own early experience in medical school and his father’s emphasis on education.&nbsp; A few years ago, with the help of his son Afem, he started <a href="http://www.geanco.org/" target="_blank">The GEANCO Foundation</a>. The two share their plan to build a state-of-the-art hospital in Anambra.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Chicago Public Media&nbsp;(WBEZ)&nbsp;has not independently investigated any persons or organizations that appear on the Global Activism series and does not endorse any such person or organization.</em></p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 15:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-23/global-activism-chicago-doctor-plans-build-hospital-his-hometown-nigeria Hospitals ask state board to develop comprehensive plan for new health facilities http://www.wbez.org/story/hospitals-ask-state-board-develop-comprehensive-plan-new-health-facilities-87564 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/Ambulance_Getty_Kevork Dejansezian.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Three Chicago-area hospitals say a state board should wait to approve any new hospitals until Illinois establishes a Center for Comprehensive Health Planning called for in legislation.</p><p>An attorney sent a letter Tuesday on behalf of Sherman Hospital, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and St. Alexius Medical Center to the chairman of the state health facilities planning board.</p><p>The hospitals state in the letter that a 2009 overhaul of Illinois health planning calls for a comprehensive state plan that would provide expert, independent analysis to the board.</p><p>The legislative overhaul came in the wake of a kickback scandal that eventually helped bring down former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>The health facilities planning board is set to consider applications for new hospitals from three health systems during its June 28 meeting.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 13:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/hospitals-ask-state-board-develop-comprehensive-plan-new-health-facilities-87564 Ex-gov's wife released from hospital http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ex-govs-wife-released-hospital <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/lura lynn ryan_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An attorney for imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan says Ryan's wife has been released from hospital three weeks after she was admitted and that she's now home.</p><p>Ryan's lawyer, former Gov. James Thompson, tells The Associated Press Lura Lynn Ryan was released from the Kankakee hospital Thursday afternoon.</p><p>Thompson says her release doesn't mean she's no longer considered terminally ill with cancer or that her condition has dramatically improved. He says it only suggests &quot;there's nothing more they can do for her in the hospital.&quot;</p><p>Thompson says he hasn't heard from the Indiana prison where Ryan's imprisoned about a request to release him on an extended furlough to be with his ailing wife.</p><p>Ryan was permitted to visit her for two hours shortly after she entered the hospital.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 22:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ex-govs-wife-released-hospital Ryan's attorney unhappy with visit disclosure http://www.wbez.org/story/ailing-wife/ryans-attorney-unhappy-visit-disclosure <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/george ryan court.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Imprisoned Illinois Gov. George Ryan's attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, says it's &quot;pretty shabby&quot; that prosecutors revealed Ryan's two-hour visit to his ailing wife in Kankakee.</p><p>Thompson told WGN-TV in Chicago that Ryan was picked up at the prison, driven to the Kankakee hospital and given two hours alone to visit his wife.</p><p>Lura Lynn Ryan is hospitalized with complications from chemotherapy. Thompson says George Ryan wasn't allowed to speak with his children and grandchildren. Afterward, he was taken back to federal prison.</p><p>Thompson told the Chicago Sun-Times that he didn't want to mislead the media. He says the Bureau of Prisons told him the media shouldn't be notified of Ryan's visit. He told the newspaper &quot;we danced every time we got a call from the press.&quot;<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 18:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ailing-wife/ryans-attorney-unhappy-visit-disclosure