CHICAGO - Not-for-profit hospitals in Illinois - on the defensive over the level of charitable care they provide to warrant their tax-exempt status - provided $4.7 billion in community benefits in 2008, according to the latest report from the Illinois Hospital Association.

The third annual report offernig an overview of the community benefits provided by hospitals through various services and programs, entitled "Illinois Hospitals Caring for Their Communities: More Than You See," was released yesterday. The data comes from 109 hospital reports filed with the state under the Illinois Community Benefits Act.

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