Hospitals by highest total uncompensated care costs 

Approximately 9% of the U.S. population did not have health insurance coverage in 2020. One study even indicates that about 18% of people would not be able to afford quality healthcare if they needed access to it today. With rising healthcare service costs, health systems are also seeing increases in charity care and other unreimbursed costs.  

What is uncompensated care? 

According to the American Hospital Association, uncompensated care is an overall measure of hospital care provided for which no payment was received from the patient or insurer.  

Total uncompensated care includes unreimbursed Medicaid costs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), state and local indigent care programs, charity care for both insured and uninsured patients, and non-Medicare and non-reimbursable Medicare bad debt expense. 

Using HospitalView, we analyzed over 4,500 U.S. hospitals to determine the top 20 hospitals with the highest total uncompensated care or unreimbursed costs. 

Hospitals with highest total uncompensated care costs in 2020 

Rank Definitive ID Hospital Name Location Total Uncompensated Care/Unreimbursed Costs
1 1140 John H Stroger Jr Hospital of Cook County Chicago, IL $713,043,433
2 274186 Ben Taub Hospital Houston, TX $693,256,966
3 3931 Parkland Health and Hospital System Dallas, TX $670,087,444
4 845 Jackson Memorial Hospital Miami, FL $590,118,499
5 2844 NYC Health and Hospitals - Bellevue New York, NY $505,906,875
6 476 LAC & USC Medical Center Los Angeles, CA $439,407,052
7 2879 NYC Health and Hospitals - Elmhurst Elmhurst, NY $439,174,858
8 541974 New York - Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center New York, NY $382,825,407
9 4147 John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS Health Network) Fort Worth, TX $372,930,744
10 2753 NYC Health and Hospitals - Lincoln Bronx, NY $336,588,041
11 731 Yale New Haven Hospital New Haven, CT $335,125,796
12 809 Tampa General Hospital Tampa, FL $333,681,915
13 2843 Tisch Hospital New York, NY $331,684,681
14 2878 NYC Health and Hospitals - Queens Jamaica, NY $290,810,752
15 273024 Montefiore Hospital - Moses Campus Bronx, NY $284,644,328
16 3859 University Hospital San Antonio, TX $283,146,493
17 2804 NYC Health and Hospitals - Coney Island Brooklyn, NY $275,800,652
18 873 AdventHealth Orlando Orlando, FL $271,432,407
19 996 Grady Health System Atlanta, GA $261,860,032
20 3818 Methodist University Hospital Memphis, TN $261,840,130

Fig. 1  Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Data is sourced from the Medicare Cost Report. The most recent data is through Q3 2020 and new data is released quarterly. Accessed October 2021.  

Which hospitals have the highest uncompensated care costs? 

Chicago’s John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County reported over $700 million in uncompensated care/unreimbursed costs for 2020. Ben Taub Hospital in Houston and Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas each had uncompensated care costs exceeding $670 million.  

Eight of the top 20 hospitals by total uncompensated care are in New York, four are in Texas and three are in Florida. These hospitals represent large metropolitan medical centers that serve huge communities of people. Figures from 2020 are no doubt affected by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and resulting layoffs or delays of care. 

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