DALLAS (AP) – A venerable Dallas orthopedic hospital that has provided care for children free of charge since opening 91 years ago will begin charging for its services.

A group of Masons founded the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in 1921 to care for children with polio, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

Robert L. Walker, the hospital’s newly promoted chief executive, says the hospital will continue its policy of never turning a child away, regardless of ability to pay. But he tells WFAA-TV that “health care is very expensive, and is increasing every year,” and revenue from billing will help the hospital best fulfill its mission.

About 90 percent of the hospital’s patients are covered by some form of insurance, including Medicaid.

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