For 2017, Uncompensated Care in Pennsylvania Goes Down as National Trend Remains Steady > Hospital Association of Pennsylvania

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For 2017, Uncompensated Care in Pennsylvania Goes Down as National Trend Remains Steady

January 09, 2019

The American Hospital Association recently issued a report stating that United States hospitals provided $38.4 billion worth of uncompensated medical care during 2017.

According to the report, both revenues and expenses were up. This emphasizes the increasing cost of caring for patients: yearly medical expenses have climbed to almost $3,000 per person, up from $2,511 in 2013.

The report also revealed:

  • Uncompensated care reached an all-time high during 2013 ($46.8 billion), when the adult uninsured rate was nearly 20 percent
  • Fewer investor-owned hospitals exist across the nation, as nonprofits (now managing 56% of facilities nation-wide) continue to obtain additional facilities
  • An increase in hospitals managed by a larger system

While the number and length of both inpatient and outpatient stays increased, emergency room visits experiences a slight decline.

Finally, the report showed a decrease of 158 fewer rural hospitals across the United States since 2013.

During the same time period, Pennsylvania’s uncompensated care, a combination of charity care expenses and bad debt, dropped by about 10 percent statewide, largely as a result of Medicaid expansion. However, with the recent erosion of Affordable Care Act coverage and funding, Pennsylvania is likely to see a rise in uncompensated care in future data years. 

For additional information, contact Jolene Calla, Esquire, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.

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