12/24/2012 12:34 pm ET

Many Hospitals Serving Needy Scroogish With Charity Care

New Yorkers who get sick during the holiday season but don’t have the money to pay for a doctor may want to tread cautiously at some city hospitals.

Earlier this year, the Community Service Society found that many city hospitals are Scroogish when it comes to charity care — health services paid for out of a special state fund created to aid poor patients. Instead, they put many of those patients through debt collections, and only when those efforts fail do they collect funds from the pool, which is financed largely through surcharges on hospital care.

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