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.
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).