As of July 31, 2011, Shriner's Hospitals for Children will start collecting copays and billing insurance companies for the health care they offer at their hospitals. They have an agreement with the Federal government to waive copayments for those on Medicare and Medicaid.
Sadly, Shriner's is no longer able to provide free medical care for all. This is a great health care institution consisting of 20 hospitals in the United States. Their services have included orthopedic, burn, cleft lip and palate, and spinal cord injury care. For the past 89 years, they have provided free health care to over 1 million children under the age of 18. However, due to the economy, decreased donations, and less return on their endowment's investments in the stock market, Shriner's has decided to change their billing practices.
Shriner's hospitals for Children is based in Tampa. Hence, I have had several patients benefit from their care throughout the years. It is sad that this noble institution has fell on hard times. They should be lauded for all of their good works. Change is necessary for this institution to not only survive, but to thrive, and offer more health care to those needy children.
For more information about or to donate to Shriner's Hospitals for Children, please visit http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/.