Are Nonprofit Hospitals Betraying Their Mission?

He says Phoebe spent $50 million on charity care last year -- but Bagnato said the figure is part of "a deliberate game of deception."

"They have all these names for all these different amounts. It just looks like smoke and mirrors," he said.

Claims of Responsiveness

Scruggs' critics say he's a billionaire trial lawyer just looking for a new deep pocket to attack. He said the last thing he wants to do is put the hospitals out of business.

"The amount of money that's involved here to the hospital is minuscule," he says. "They collect virtually nothing from the men and women we represent. We're not asking them to write these people a big check, we're simply saying don't go after them for money you'll never collect anyway."

Meanwhile, Wernick said his hospital only aggressively pursues debtors as a last resort. He also said Phoebe aggressively reaches out to the uninsured to let them know the hospital is willing to help them with their bills.

Phoebe put ABC News in touch with some of the patients who had been helped, but "Primetime" spoke to others who said they were never made aware of financial assistance.

Shown a brochure touted by Wernick, Franklin said, "I have never seen any of these brochures. Nothing like this. Nothing."

Phoebe has dropped its lawsuit against Rehberg, but Rehberg has countersued, claiming libel, slander and false imprisonment.

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