Health

Patients eligible for charity care instead get big bills

When Ashley Pintos went to the emergency room of St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., in 2016, with a sharp pain in her abdomen and no insurance, a representative demanded a $500 deposit before treating her.

Hospital

A hospital is an institution for health care providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment, and often but not always providing for longer-term patient stays.

Today, hospitals are usually funded by the state, by health organizations, (for profit or non-profit), health insurances or charities, including by direct charitable donations. In history, however, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders. Similarly, modern-day hospitals are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons, and nurses, whereas in history, this work was usually done by the founding religious orders or by volunteers.

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