Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Washington Catholic Hospitals Settle Suit Charging Them With Failure To Provide Charity Care

Washington state's attorney general yesterday announced the filing of a consent decree (full text) in State of Washington v. Franciscan Health System, (WA Super. Ct., April 29, 2019).  The settlement grows out of a lawsuit filed in 2017 against eight CHI Franciscan hospitals alleging that they violated the state's Consumer Protection Act by failing to make charity care available to tens of thousands of patients who were entitled to it under state law. As summarized by the AG's press release, the hospitals "will forgive as much as $20 million in debt, pay $2.22 million in refunds, pay the Attorney General’s Office $2.46 million, and rehabilitate the credit of thousands of patients who qualified for charity care between 2012 and 2017 but did not receive it."  The Consent Decree also requires detailed changes in the hospitals' procedures for providing financial assistance to patients.