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MN Hospital Spending On Uncompensated Care Neared $3B In 2015

MN Hospital Spending On Uncompensated Care Neared $3B In 2015

Local health care providers also spent millions of dollars on community services, research and staff training programs.

Contributions made by Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems increased 3.6 percent year-over-year to more than $4.5 billion in 2015, according to the findings of an industry report.
 
In its annual Community Benefit Report, the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) said that state health care providers reported millions of dollars spent on research projects, uncompensated care coverage and other services.
 
Government underfunding led to the biggest bill, approximately $2.4 billion, MHA said. The disparity between the cost to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients and the lack of government reimbursement in 2015 increased 7.6 percent over the year prior.
 
When factoring in the $536 million spent on uncompensated care — essentially “charity care,” or the leftover cost health care providers incur from patients who can’t pay their hospital bill — the state’s hospitals and health systems spent nearly $3 billion covering the government and patients.
 
Uncompensated care spending, however, was down $53 million from the year before, in large part due to continued Affordable Care Act implementation as more Minnesotans secured health insurance, MHA said.
 
Approximately $440 million went toward proactive services to address community health needs, which included health screenings, health education, costs related to fair booths, immunization clinics and other community outreach efforts.
 
Training doctors, nurses and other skilled health care professionals was the next largest cost, amounting to $408 million spent. Meanwhile, research toward medical treatments and disease prevention made up another $239 million in spending.
 
To read more about the contributions made by Minnesota’s health care providers, click here.