Indigents, Hospital Admissions and Equal Protection

The author surveyed ten hospitals in each of ten states, including hospitals of varying sizes and classifications. Five of the forty-five replies indicated the hospital did not admit all indigents in need of medical care. The primary reason given was that prospective patients not covered by hospital insurance or government programs such as Medicaid or Medicare were usually unable to produce a required preadmission deposit. This practice of requiring a preadmission deposit seems to be common.