Hospitals sue Massachusetts for unpaid care

Six community hospitals are suing the state of Massachusetts to recoup $70 million they say they've lost over the last three years due to caring for poor people.

By law, the state is supposed to cover the costs of treating low-income patients on the state's MassHealth Medicaid program, but "the state has not lived up to its side of the bargain," said state Rep. Demetrius J. Atsalis. As a result, at least one hospital, Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, has laid off more than 160 employees and eliminated several programs.

The suit comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed this summer by Boston Medical Center, which accused Bay State officials of illegally cutting payments used to treat poor patients.

For more information:
- read the Cape Cod Times article