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Provena Hospital defends charity care, tax status to Illinois Supreme Court

Chicago Tribune, September 24, 2009

In arguments before the state's highest court, the Illinois Attorney General's Office said a hospital that provides less than 1% of its revenues on charity care does not deserve a property tax exemption. The Illinois Supreme Court heard 55 minutes of arguments over how much charity care a hospital should provide and whether it should go beyond providing free medical services. The case pits Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana against the state Department of Revenue. At the heart of the state's argument in keeping Provena from being exempt from property taxes is a level of free care it provided in 2002 when state Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer said the hospital's charity care was less than 1% of its revenue.