Providence St. Peter Hospital,
Photo credit: Steve Bloom, The Olympian, Staff file, 2015
– “Washington hospitals often hang up on Spanish speakers seeking charity, survey finds”
“Twelve of 20 hospitals contacted as part of the survey, including Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, received letters from Columbia Legal Services criticizing them for hanging up repeatedly, having no charity-care policies or providing low amounts of aid.”
“Columbia Legal Services conducted the survey as part of a campaign to increase access of charity care in Washington. That campaign also has included pushes for bills in the Legislature and a pending class-action lawsuit against Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle over collections practices.
The letter to Providence St. Peter cited “serious concerns” about an “abdication of its legal responsibility” to help people with limited English skills get equal access to health care.”
“A Providence spokesman said Thursday [Aug. 31] the organization had not seen the report but has a policy of equal access and a nondiscrimination policy. The hospital provides multilingual instructions on its financial-assistance website and at the billing services line, 360-493-7256, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“The Olympia hospital was the only one in the South Sound admonished in the report for how it handled the test callers,” by Derrick Nunnally, Tacoma News-Tribune.