Deb Waldin testifies about her experience with a debt collector at a Minnesota hospital during a hearing led by Sen. Al Franken in St. Paul, Minn., in late May. Minnesota Public Radio/Jeffrey Thompson hide caption

itoggle caption Minnesota Public Radio/Jeffrey Thompson

HealthOne is a Colorado hospital chain that is opening a psychiatric ward to take pressure off its hospitals' emergency rooms, including the one on the billboard. Eric Whitney/CPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Whitney/CPR

Some fear that with rising medical costs and an aging population, the country's nursing staff will be stretched too thin. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Patients continue to complain that physicians don't spend enough time examining and talking with them. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Patient Bob Berquist with Gregory Wagner, a doctor in the emergency department. Berquist, who volunteers at Fauquier Hospital, was admitted for low blood sugar when another nurse noticed he seemed dizzy. John Rose/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Rose/NPR

Katie Beckett fits herself with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs. A nurse comes over to her apartment in Cedar Rapids to help her do this twice a day. On the wall to the right are pictures of Katie as a child with Ronald Reagan. This story starts twenty-nine years ago with an angry President Ronald Reagan. <> We just recently received word of a little girl who has spent most of her life in a hospital. <> The little girl in the hospital was three-year-old Katie Beckett. Because of a brain infection, she needed to be hooked to a ventilator at night to breathe. Her parents wanted her home. Her doctors said she'd be better off at home. And it'd be cheaper, too: Just one-sixth the cost. John Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Poole/NPR

Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility. Brittney Lohmiller for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Brittney Lohmiller for NPR

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announces a lawsuit against Accretive Health in Jan., saying the company failed to protect the confidentiality of health care records for thousands of Minnesota residents. The charges have widened to include the company's tactics in collecting debts. Jim Mone/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Mone/AP