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Article updated: 12/20/2012 6:22 PM

Group offers thoughts on hospital charity care

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A group that helps uninsured patients has recommendations for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as she writes rules for hospitals on charity care.

The Fair Care Coalition submitted its recommendations Thursday. A new Illinois law requires hospitals to provide free care to patients of certain income levels, and the attorney general was directed to draft rules for hospital financial assistance applications.

The Fair Care Coalition wants hospitals to use a standard one-page application for financial assistance and refrain from billing patients while their applications for financial assistance or Medicaid are being processed.

The group says qualifying for benefit programs with income limits should be proof of eligibility for financial assistance. Madigan's office says it will "carefully consider" the group's recommendations.

The Illinois Hospital Association also has submitted recommendations to Madigan.

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