According to an article in Monday’s Sun-Times, local hospitals come off looking, well, stingy when it comes to charitable care. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been critical of non-profit hospitals because, based on the most recent data (2003) from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, charity care is, in many cases, less than one percent of the hospital’s overall charges. Defenders say hospitals don’t collect on all of their charges and that amount isn’t included in charity care, so the data is misleading. Advocate Bethany Hospital on the West Side, which has come under fire from advocates for health care for the poor, comes out on top. However, they recently announced they’re getting out of the business of primary care and turning into a long-term care facility. West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Loretto Hospital in Austin are also included in the partial list below:

?  Advocate Bethany Hospital (Garfield Park) – 7.59%

?  Northwestern Memorial Hospital – 2.11%

? Rush University Medical Center – 1.58%

?  St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital – 1.24%

?  St. Elizabeth Hospital – 1.10%

?  St. Francis Hospital (Evanston) – 1.08%

?  Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood) – 0.85%

?  Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Melrose Park) – 0.50%

? Edward Hospital (Naperville) – 0.47%

? West Suburban Medical Center – 0.39%

?  Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital – 0.38%

?  Loretto Hospital (Austin) – 0.37%

?  Rush Oak Park Hospital – 0.24%

? Resurrection Medical Center (Chicago) – 0.14%

? Westlake Hospital (Melrose Park) – 0.10%