Illinois nonprofit hospitals provided nearly $4.9 billion in community benefits through various programs and services during their 2008-2009 fiscal years, according to Illinois Hospital Association's fourth annual report.

"Although hospitals give billions of dollars in community benefits each year, including nearly half a billion dollars in charity care, this report highlights that the real value of hospitals cannot be calculated merely in dollars and cents," IHA president Maryjane Wurth said in a statement.

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