Nonprofit hospitals record greater revenue, less charity care spending under ACA: 7 findings

A recent Politico analysis reveals the nation's top seven hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report experienced increased revenue under the ACA while reducing direct charity care spending.

For the analysis, Politico analyzed charity care and revenue at UC Los Angeles Medical Center; Cleveland Clinic; UC San Francisco; Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital; Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic; Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins; and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The publication used the hospitals' financial statements as well as state reports for the research.

Here are seven findings from the analysis.

1. In 2015, the most recent available data year, the seven hospitals collected more than $33.9 billion in total operating revenue, according to Politico. That's up from $29.4 billion two years prior.

2. However, the analysis shows the hospitals' combined direct charity care spending decreased from $414 million in 2013 to $272 million two years later.

3. Between 2013 and 2015, the hospitals' combined revenue increased $4.5 billion annually, or about 15 percent.

4. At the same time, the analysis shows their direct charity care spending decreased nearly $150 million annually. That's a 35 percent decrease between 2013 and 2015.

5. Consider UC Los Angeles Medical Center, which experienced a more than $300 million increase in operating revenue between the two years. The analysis shows the organization's direct charity care spending decreased from nearly $20 million to about $5 million during that same time period.

6. Hospitals point to federal regulation under which they must solely prove they're serving the community to receive tax breaks, reports Politico, noting some states' approach to their tax breaks is more stringent.

7. Hospitals in the report also point to the decrease in uninsured people under the ACA when discussing the decrease in their direct charity care spending. The more patients who gained some type of insurance under the ACA correlated to a lesser demand for charity care. They told the publication the opposite trend could occur if Republicans are successful in their efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.

Read the full report here.


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