WA Hospitals Aren't Fulfilling Legal Duty to Offer Charity Care to Needy Patients, New Study Shows

Comments

1
Wow, Virginia Mason gave a 100% non-responsive answer. Sounds pretty guilty.

I'm glad someone's tracking this. If hospitals cared about this, they would be running their own audits on a random sample of patients to see if they were handled correctly. (Virginia Mason obviously doesn't run this or they'd respond based on their own numbers.)
2
This article doesn't lend an iota of mention to the tremendous amount of uncompensated care Virginia Mason to provides to homeless street addicts at its outpatient clinic at Bailey-Boushay House in the Madison Valley. It runs into the millions and probably cannot be measured due to the transient nature of the clientele.
3
Virginia Mason operates Bailey Boushay House at a tremendous expense, much of which is charity care/programs to help the homeless stay on HIV med regiments. What about the other hospitals in Seattle? This is a legit issue, but this article reads like the writer has a personal grievance with one hospital. What about Providence/Swedish, GHC and others? All not for profits are required to publicly report on these issues, so a journalist wouldn't have to search far to create a complete picture of the situation. Makes you wonder why they didn't.
4
@3 Virginia Mason was the only hospital in Seattle mentioned in Columbia Legal Services' report. No personal grievances here.
5
Ana Sofia Knauf, have you ever even been to Bailey-Boushay House? Do you even know what services it provides to an incredibly marginalized segment of our society? I think not and I think Columbia Legal Services hasn't the slightest clue either.

For you and CLS to assassinate the reputation of an organization that walked right into the AIDS crisIs, with absolutely no experience, when every other health organization in this town including Swedish, GHC, Providence and the UW declined shows you have not done your homework.

Virginia Mason stepped in when no one else would and today BBH is one of the baseline models for AIDS care in the United States and for much of the globe. Most of the care provided in the OP setting there is uncompensated. It runs into the tens of millions of dollars a year. And if you ask anybody at VMMC about this from the janitor up to the boardroom, almost everyone will reply that this alone is the one thing about Virginia Mason for which they are so proud. VMMC did the right thing when no one else would. VMMC continues to do so today.
6
Once again, a publisher misses the point – the essence of the root problem is not access to affordable "insurance."

Insurance is not the solution; it's the PROBLEM. The waste of income – public and private – on so-called premiums (plus the administrative overhead, advertising, and "shareholder" profits) directly subtracts funds from direct, competent medical care, which should be provided to all, regardless of ability to pay. Crack that nut, and then go after pharmaceutical prices. Presto! No more premature death or needless suffering when the profit motive is removed from medical care and medication.
7
Important research and valuable reporting. Hospitals across the state keep flouting their state and federal responsibility to provide essential care to all. They get breaks in other areas that enable this public service. Meanwhile, some hospitals create huge barriers, even incentivizing staff to discourage low-income patients from enrolling (Yakima Regional).

Bailey Boushay is an amazing and essential service and Virginia Mason should be applauded for their commitment. That doesn't mean we let them off the hook in other areas where they're falling short.