Foundation Releases Update on Hospital Charity Care
ST. LOUIS – Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) has released Charity Care at Missouri Hospitals: 2006 to 2007. Prepared by the St. Louis Business Health Coalition, it is the fourth report in a series examining how 2005 changes to Medicaid have affected 40 Missouri hospitals, based on uncompensated care and emergency department use data.
Uncompensated care can be defined as health care services for which a hospital does not expect to receive payment. This includes charity care, bad debt, and services that are billed to patients but go unpaid.
The new report and its accompanying Executive Summary provide important data and analysis of Missouri hospitals’ increasing concerns about uncompensated care.
Below are some key points included in the report:
- Charity care at study hospitals grew from $113.8 million in 2006 to $133.5 million in 2007.
- Bad debt continues to outpace reported charity care by more than 50 percent, increasing from $219 million in 2006 to $249 million in 2007.
- Uninsured emergency room visits rose 13 percent in Missouri from 2006 to 2007, although increases also occurred among people with Medicaid, Medicare, and other types of insurance.
Charity Care at Missouri Hospitals: 2006 to 2007 can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.mffh.org/mm/files/CharityCare06-07Report.pdf. The Executive Summary is available at http://www.mffh.org/mm/files/CharityCare06-07ExecutiveSummary.pdf.
Established in 2000, MFH is the largest nongovernmental funder of community health activities in Missouri. MFH is in its eighth year of grantmaking, having issued more than $418 million in grants and awards to date. It is dedicated to improving the health of unserved and underserved residents in 84 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.