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Maine's hospitals double free care over 5 years

The Portland Press Herald, May 7, 2012

Maine hospitals have doubled the amount of free care they provide over the past five years as the weak economy pushed more people out of work and companies shifted an increasing amount of healthcare costs onto employees. More scrutiny has been placed on free care as healthcare has become big business and top hospital executives in Maine fetch six-figure salaries. A Portland Press Herald survey of the four largest hospitals in the Greater Portland area found that Mercy Health System provides more free care as a percentage of its gross revenues than its peers. Mercy, a Catholic hospital, last year spent about $12.8 million—3.3 percent of its gross revenues—on providing free care.