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Iowa hospitals' uninsured patient numbers increase

Des Moines Register, January 21, 2009

Iowa hospital leaders say increasing numbers of uninsured patients are seeking free care in their emergency rooms, and the hospitals are bracing for more such costs as the economy continues to slump. Although Iowa still has fewer uninsured residents than most other states, the problem appears to be worsening and some hospitals are reporting particularly sharp increases. Fort Dodge-based Trinity Regional Medical Center's charity care, for example, jumped from $3.3 million in 2007 to $5.9 million in 2008.