Charity care took 5-year dive at California hospitals

Charity care spending by California's general acute-care hospitals significantly decreased between 2013 and 2017, according to a California Healthline analysis.

The analysis examined data from 177 nonprofit hospitals, 80 for-profit hospitals and 54 city, county, district or state hospitals, reported to the state's office of statewide health planning and development.

Researchers found that California general acute-care hospitals spent 2.07 percent of their operating expenses on free and discounted care for low-income patients in 2013, according to California Healthline. That's compared to 1.52 percent in 2014, 0.95 percent in 2015 and 0.85 percent in 2017.

Declines also reportedly occurred at for-profit hospitals, nonprofit hospitals, and city, county, district or state hospitals.

Health experts told California Healthline the decline in charity care spending is primarily due to the ACA, which decreased the number of uninsured California residents in 2014.

Read more about the analysis here.


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