Hospitals' uncompensated care climbing at slower pace, analysis shows

Hospitals' average uncompensated care and unreimbursed costs rose 8 percent between 2015 and 2016, but growth slowed to 3.2 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to a recent Definitive Healthcare report.

The numbers are based on data for 3,855 U.S. hospitals. For the report, Definitive Healthcare, which provides data and intelligence on the healthcare provider market, examined uncompensated care as well as unreimbursed costs for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and state and local indigent care programs.

Three other findings from the report:

1. Hospitals' average uncompensated care and unreimbursed costs increased from $11.2 million in 2015 to $12.8 million in 2018.

2. In 2018, larger hospitals with more than 250 beds reported average uncompensated care and unreimbursed costs of $39.7 million. That's was more than 2½ times higher than for hospitals with 101 to 250 beds ($14.8 million).

3. Hospitals' average uncompensated care and unreimbursed costs varied by region. Definitive Healthcare said hospitals in the Southeast, Southwest and West reported similar average uncompensated care and unreimbursed costs between 2015 and 2018, while hospitals in the Northeast reported the highest averages, and hospitals in the Midwest reported the lowest.

 

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