Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sued Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital for allegedly hoarding $37 million in charitable funds to collect the interest income instead of spending the money as donors intended on indigent patients. In a written statement, a hospital spokesman said comment would be premature because officials had yet to receive the complaint. Testifying before state legislators this morning, Blumenthal said he is reviewing more than 500 similar "free-bed funds" -- charitable trusts created by individuals to support indigent care -- to determine if hospitals in the state are using such money appropriately. The free-bed fund administered by Yale-New Haven is not considered a hospital asset, Blumenthal said in a written statement. "As the amount of free bed funds rose, the hospital reaped the interest income for other purposes," he said. In the lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Hartford, Blumenthal alleged that the hospital created administrative barriers to use of the funds; billed patients whose care should have been covered by the funds; hired collection agencies to pursue the patients for nonpayment; and in several instances shifted the payment burden to taxpayers by requiring patients to apply for government assistance. Read the complaint. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Conn. sues Yale-New Haven over indigent care
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