Hospitals stuck with $660B in uncompensated care since 2000, American Hospital Association says

U.S. hospitals have provided more than $660 billion in uncompensated care to their patients since 2000, according to a recent American Hospital Association report.

In 2019, the most recent year available, uncompensated care for U.S. hospitals nationwide totaled $41.6 billion, up slightly from the $41.3 billion reported in 2018. 

A hospital's uncompensated care costs are the sum of the hospital's bad debt and financial assistance costs. The uncompensated care figure does not factor in Medicare or Medicaid underpayments or other contractual allowances. According to the association, Medicare and Medicaid underpaid U.S. hospitals by $75.8 billion in 2019. 

Here are hospitals' annual uncompensated care costs, according to the survey.

2000 — $21.6 billion (5,012 hospitals)

2001 — $21.5 billion (4,986 hospitals)

2002 — $22.4 billion (5,020 hospitals)

2003 — $24.9 billion (5,018 hospitals)

2004 — $27 billion (5,104 hospitals)

2005 — $29.3 billion (5,374 hospitals)

2006 — $31.6 billion (5,350 hospitals)

2007 — $34.4 billion (5,322 hospitals)

2008 — $36.8 billion (5,396 hospitals)

2009 — $39.5 billion (5,362 hospitals)

2010 — $39.8 billion (5,371 hospitals)

2011 — $41.6 billion (5,376 hospitals)  

2012 — $46.3 billion (5,367 hospitals)  

2013 — $46.8 billion (5,359 hospitals)

2014 — $43.2 billion (5,308 hospitals)

2015 — $36.1 billion (5,280 hospitals)

2016 — $38.4 billion (5,267 hospitals)  

2017 — $38.4 billion (5,262 hospitals)

2018 — $41.3 billion (5,198 hospitals)

2019 — $41.6 billion (5,141 hospitals)

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