22 Mar Should Mission Health join HCA Healthcare, can they refuse to treat patients who do not pay for treatment upfront?
Absolutely not. First, it is inconsistent with their mission and the Hippocratic Oath sworn by its founding physicians. Second, federal law protects patients who are in need of emergent care, and it is illegal to require up-front payments for that care. Those laws apply to all hospitals — whether they are for-profit or not-for-profit. A report by Harvard School of Public Health confirmed that not-for-profit hospitals and health systems switching to for-profit status maintained their level of care for poor patients or at-risk populations.