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.
WHY THIS MATTERS
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.