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HMO profits soared 81 percent in 2002, according to Weiss Ratings. The industry earned $5.5 billion, compared to $3 billion in 2001.... About 6 in 10 of 1,206 Americans polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation report that they are somewhat worried that the amount that they pay for health care will increase. They also worry that their health plan will care more about saving money than about doing what is best for patients. Somewhat fewer say that they're worried about quality of, and access to, care.... The hospital industry is considering making broad price cuts for the uninsured, according to the Wall Street Journal. The American Hospital Association, under government pressure, is encouraging members to curtail aggressive collection methods, such as putting liens on debtors' homes. The organization blames Medicare, saying the system makes it too difficult for hospitals to reduce prices for people who can't afford health care.

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