Judge finds Yakima hospital violated laws on charity care - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Judge finds Yakima hospital violated laws on charity care

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge has determined that a Yakima hospital violated the state Consumer Protection Act by failing to provide adequate financial help to low-income patients.
    
Superior Court Judge Susan Hahn sided with the patients last week in their class-action lawsuit against Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center and its former owner, Florida-based Health Management Associates. Hahn said the hospital's actions were "deceptive."
    
Last week's ruling comes after the judge ruled in December that the hospitals violated the state Charity Care Act. Hahn found that the hospital discouraged indigent patients from seeking care by requiring payments or deposits before procedures.
    
Yakima hospital official Darrin Cook says the facility has implemented new state-approved charity care policies.
    
Monetary damages in the case haven't yet been determined.

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