Ann Allen (right) and Marie Birsic (left) take part in a demonstration to prevent the closure of Lakewood Hospital on Cleveland's West Side. Birsic says the neighborhood will "go down into a ghost town" once the hospital is turned into an outpatient center. Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN hide caption

itoggle caption Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN

Registered nurses Cassie Gregor (from left), Camellia Douglas and Mike Montalto monitor patients in intensive care units scattered around North Carolina. Kevin McCarthy/Carolinas HealthCare System hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin McCarthy/Carolinas HealthCare System

St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore is one of the 131 hospitals run by Ascension Health. It's a not-for-profit, Catholic health care system that treats many low-income patients. St. Agnes Hospital hide caption

itoggle caption St. Agnes Hospital

Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. Joanna Serah/Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption Joanna Serah/Wikimedia

U.S. taxpayers have poured $30 billion into funding electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors' offices since 2009. But most of those systems still can't talk to each other, which makes transfer of medical information tough. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

An overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria can inflame the colon with a life-threatening infection. Dr. David Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited hide caption

itoggle caption Dr. David Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited

One form of carbapenem-resistant bacteria seen in culture. CRE bacteria are blamed for 600 deaths a year in the U.S. and can withstand treatment by virtually every kind of antibiotic. CDC hide caption

itoggle caption CDC

Happy patients can be a windfall for the hospitals that care for them. Laughing Stock/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Laughing Stock/Corbis

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica