Washington hospitals ink $4.5M settlement in charity care case

Toppenish (Wash.) Community Hospital, Yakima (Wash.) Regional Medical and Cardiac Center and their parent company Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems have agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the two Washington hospitals' charity care practices, according to the Yakima Herald.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought in 2013 against Yakima Regional and Toppenish Community Hospital by an indigent patient. According to the complaint, the hospitals violated state law by failing to tell patients about charity care they were potentially eligible to receive.

At the time of the violations, both hospitals were owned by Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates. Community Health Systems acquired HMA's 71 hospitals in 2014.

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