CHICAGO - Under pressure to justify their tax-exemption benefits, nonprofit hospitals in Illinois provided more than $4 billion in charitable care and other community benefits in 2006 and agreed to new pricing caps and discounts for the poor and uninsured, the Illinois Hospital Association asserts in a new report.

"As this report shows, our hospitals' programs and services go far beyond medical care to keep their communities strong and stable," IHA president Kenneth C. Robbins said in a statement accompanying the report, which tracked the value of benefits for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2006. "Illinois hospitals make a dramatic difference in the lives of the people they serve."

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