Robbing Hood: Unmasking Nonprofit Hospitals in Rhode Island

Meet Robbing Hood. Evolving from his origins as an aide to those in need to the exact opposite – someone who takes from the poor and gives to the rich – Robbing Hood embodies the progression of America’s nonprofit hospitals.

Nonprofit hospitals were organized to serve. Massive tax breaks mean Rhode Island nonprofit hospitals should provide charity care to the needy, serve as accessible health care providers for low-income patients, and invest in their communities.

But Rhode Island nonprofit hospitals aren’t keeping their side of the deal.

Rhode Island nonprofit hospitals receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for the promise of providing charity care and community benefits. And yet, the state’s hospitals have collectively racked up a “fair share deficit” of $114 million dollars. In other words, nonprofit hospitals in Rhode Island pocketed a whopping $114 million more in tax breaks than they spent on community benefits and charity care for needy patients. In fact, the Lown Institute found that every hospital in the state ran a fair share deficit in the 2021 fiscal year.

Hospitals today are big businesses and the largest contributors to US health care costs. Too often, their interests are at odds with Rhode Islanders’ health and financial security.

Watch CQC’s new video to meet Robbing Hood and see our nation’s nonprofit hospitals mask what they truly are: big businesses whose priorities do not lie with the people they serve.

1 Lown Institute, “Lown Institute Hospitals Index: 2024 Results Fair Share Spending,” April 2024,

2 National Public Radio, “Investigation: Many U.S. hospitals sue patients for debts or threaten their credit,” December 2022,

3 Innovation for Justice, University of Arizona and the University of Utah, “Medical Debt Policy Scorecard,” October 2021,

4, “Sixth Semi-Annual Hospital Price Transparency Compliance Report,” February 2024,, pg. 24

5 Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, “Access & Affordability: The Burden of Medical Debt in the United States,” February 2024,

6 Rand Corporation, “Prices Paid to Hospitals by Private Health Plans: Findings from Round 5 of an Employer-Led Transparency Initiative,” May 2024,

All data as of May 2024.

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