‘These hospitals exploit working-class patients and manipulate the corrupt sick-care system for maximum profit… It’s a culture of robbing the poor to make the rich even richer,’ says Katy Talento

 WASHINGTON — Nonprofit hospitals are not only falling short of their mission to provide charity care and other community benefits; they are abusing their tax-exempt status, according to a new study.

“Research consistently shows that nonprofit hospitals are failing to meet community benefit obligations under all but the broadest (many argue, overly expansive) definitions,” said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“Investigative reports highlight instances where such hospitals prioritize financial gains over community welfare, often neglecting those in need of financial assistance. Furthermore, evidence suggests nonprofit hospitals offer fewer community benefits compared to for-profit hospitals.”

“This comes when the Department of Labor just reported a 7.7% jump from a year ago in hospital prices,” says Katy Talento, executive director of the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries (The Alliance, ahcsm.org). “Meanwhile, supposedly nonprofit hospitals are enjoying tax-free status while piling up profits.

Far too frequently, these hospitals exploit working-class patients and manipulate the corrupt sick-care system for maximum profit, all the while using the lip service of public relations to hide pricing and conceal outrageous billing practices. It’s a culture of robbing the poor to make the rich even richer.”

The study notes that “a 2022 investigative report by the New York Times featured Providence Health, a 51-hospital system on the West Coast with revenues of $27 billion and $1.2 billion worth of tax exemptions. Despite earning substantially high net income, the hospital system’s charity care expenditures in 2018 amounted to just above 1 percent of operating expenses, well below the national average, and fell below 1 percent in 2021.”

“Consumers often assume that nonprofit/charity hospitals won’t price-gouge, but patients are forced to face the harsh reality when the bills arrive,” Talento says. “Thank God for Health Care Sharing Ministries, which help their members navigate the thicket of nonprofit as well as for-profit services.

“A common complaint we hear is about too much bureaucracy at every level. Health Care Sharing Ministries cut through a lot of red tape. Since 2021, federal transparency law has required hospitals to reveal secret costs, but the current administration has largely given a pass to the two-thirds of hospitals that flout the rules. Illegally hiding prices is where the rip-offs start. Garnishing wages of low-income earners and sending them into a black hole of more financial hardship is often how it plays out.”

People with health insurance, which is a contract with a third party to pay for medical treatment in exchange for premiums, often face cold and bureaucratic customer service. Premium dollars go to services for other people in the same risk pool that violate their religious beliefs, such as abortion or surgical and chemical gender mutilation.

“By contrast, members of Health Care Sharing Ministries are not forced to subsidize such services. What’s more, Health Care Sharing Ministries can help their members fight back against the greed and profiteering at hospitals by providing expert negotiating assistance for medical bills,” Talento says.

One of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, paid $45 million to consultants from McKinsey to develop the “Rev-Up” program designed to maximize revenue by denying poor patients charity care that they’re entitled to under federal law, according to the New York Times. The program bullied hospital employees into becoming bullies themselves, directing them to threaten patients with debt collection companies and bad credit.

“Unfortunately, nonprofit hospitals have been getting away with this for years,” Talento says. “They have often created their own collection agencies and take aggressive legal action to extract payment from even the poorest patients.

“Health Care Sharing Ministries help people stay out of debt by facilitating lower costs for Christian entrepreneurs and freelancers and much more flexibility. Millions of self-employed Americans aren’t part of the big health care system, and many are learning that Health Care Sharing Ministries are right for them,” Talento says.

To hear more from Katy Talento about nonprofit hospitals, click here.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries is a 501(c)(6) trade organization representing the common interests of Health Care Sharing Ministries which are facilitating the sharing of health care needs (financial, emotional, and spiritual) by individuals and families, and their participants. The Alliance engages with federal and state regulators, members of the media, and the Christian community to provide accurate and timely information on health care sharing.

To learn more about the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, visit www.ahcsm.org or follow the ministry on Facebook or Twitter.

To interview a representative from The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Bogucki, 610.584.1096, ext. 105.

###  To interview a representative from The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Bogucki, 610.584.1096, ext. 105.