Amount of unpaid medical bills climbed 7.6% at Wisconsin hospitals in FY 2018

Uncompensated healthcare — which includes charity care and bad debt — continues to increase at Wisconsin hospitals, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

An annual Wisconsin Hospital Association report cited by the radio network found that 150 hospitals in the state provided $1.2 billion of uncompensated, or unreimbursed, healthcare services to patients in fiscal year 2018. That's up 7.6 percent from $1.1 billion the year prior.

Charity care — care hospitals didn't expect payment for providing — accounted for $590.2 million of the fiscal year 2018 uncompensated healthcare costs. The rest was bad debt, meaning care hospitals provided and expected to be paid for, but weren't because the patient didn't or couldn't pay.

In contrast, the amount of unpaid medical bills remained steady at hospitals nationwide in fiscal year 2018, at $38.4 billion, according to WPR.

Brian Potter, senior vice president at the Wisconsin Hospital Association, told the radio network uncompensated healthcare at Wisconsin hospitals in fiscal year 2018 is "lower than pre-ACA but it has been on the rise" in recent years.

He attributed this to various factors, including fewer people signing up for coverage on the ACA's federal exchange.

Read the association's full uncompensated care report here.

 

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