U.S. Hospitals Spent $41B on Uncompensated Care in 2011, Survey Finds


In 2011, U.S. hospitals provided about $41 billion in uncompensated care, or 6% of their total expenses, according to an annual survey by the American Hospital Association, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.

Survey Details

AHA's Annual Survey of Hospitals revealed that the rate of uncompensated care hospitals provide has remained steady at about 6% for more than 20 years.

For example, the survey found that in 2010, hospitals provided $39.3 billion in uncompensated care, or 5.8% of their total expenses.

According to "Healthwatch," the figures represent the combined total of hospitals' charity care and the amount left unpaid by patients and insurers, known as bad debt. AHA did not separate the data to show the amount of charity care versus bad debt (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/4).
Lucy Johns
List price. This maximizes the imputed value of the care. The "average insurance company payment" would be difficult to measure: insurance-company negotiated rates are proprietary and total payments by private carriers to individual hospitals are not public (as are MCare and MCal payments at each hospital in CA).
James Meyers
Is charity care tallied at the "list price" or the average insurance company payment?

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