In an ideal world, every nonprofit hospital would be genuinely devoted to charitable purposes, to caring for the sick, the poor, and the infirm, ensuring equitable access to quality health care.
The IRS even has rules requiring nonprofit hospitals to provide financial assistance and other community benefits. In practice, however, many nonprofit hospitals act more like big businesses than charitable organizations. These hospitals implement policies designed to squeeze maximum revenue from patients, even from those who can least afford it.
To combat this, some states have passed laws requiring nonprofit hospitals to provide charity care, or discounted medical care, to lower-income patients.