A report from the Illinois Hospital Association says hospitals are providing an increasing amount of charity care.
The hospital association's report, released Wednesday, includes information on more than 100 Illinois hospitals that file annual community benefit reports with the state. Those hospitals provided $561 million in free and discounted care in the most recent fiscal year.
That was a 124% increase since 2005. The association's report says hospitals contributed another $4 billion in other community benefits, including costs to educate medical professionals and costs of subsidizing money-losing services such as emergency departments.
The report comes as a statewide dispute continues over hospitals' tax-exempt status in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for suggestions on new legislation to define what hospitals must do to earn tax-exempt status.