Uncompensated hospital care costs reach $660 billion since 2000, AHA finds

January 22, 2021 / Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Hospitals have provided more than $660 billion worth of uncompensated care since 2000, according to the American Hospital Association.

The AHA publishes data on the level of uncompensated care each year using figures from its Annual Survey of Hospitals.

In 2019, the most recent year included in the data set, 5,141 of the nation’s hospitals incurred $41.61 billion in uncompensated care costs. This is a slight increase from 2018’s $41.3 billion.


The AHA data doesn’t yet include figures from the COVID-19 pandemic that consumed much of 2020. Whether the year’s historically high unemployment rates, resulting in higher numbers of uninsured patients and uncompensated care, will be reflected in future figures is yet to be determined.


Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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