Some nonprofit hospitals aren’t earning their tax breaks, critics say

CHICAGO — On a recent morning at John H. Stroger Hospital, hardly a seat was to be had in any of the first-floor clinic waiting rooms. Not in audiology. Not in heart and vascular. Not in the pharmacy or ophthalmology.In other words, it was a typical day at Stroger, the central pillar of the Cook County Health system. Cook County Health is Chicago’s “safety net” health system, which means it treats all patients — a million each year — regardless of their ability to pay.Cook County Health, which also includes Stroger’s much smaller sister hospital, Provident, spent $377 million in uncompensated …

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