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
||Total Uncompensated Care/Unreimbursed Costs
||John H Stroger Jr Hospital of Cook County
||Ben Taub Hospital
||Parkland Health and Hospital System
||Jackson Memorial Hospital
||NYC Health and Hospitals - Bellevue
||New York, NY
||LAC & USC Medical Center
||Los Angeles, CA
||NYC Health and Hospitals - Elmhurst
||New York - Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
||New York, NY
||John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS Health Network)
||Fort Worth, TX
||NYC Health and Hospitals - Lincoln
||Yale New Haven Hospital
||New Haven, CT
||Tampa General Hospital
||New York, NY
||NYC Health and Hospitals - Queens
||Montefiore Hospital - Moses Campus
||San Antonio, TX
||NYC Health and Hospitals - Coney Island
||Grady Health System
||Methodist University Hospital
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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