Missouri hospitals provided a record $1.1 billion in uncompensated care in 2011, according to the Missouri Hospital Association.
That’s 22 percent more uncompensated care than the hospital gave out in 2010 and the first time the figure has exceeded $1 billion, according to the MHA report. MHA CEO Herb Kuhn said in a release that since the association’s first report in 2004, unpaid care has increased by 404 percent.
“This year’s report demonstrates hospitals’ ongoing commitment to delivering care to members of their communities who are unable to pay,” Kuhn said in a written statement. “However, it also signals the need for a better system — one that ensures Missourians have expanded access to insurance. Extending health insurance to additional Missourians would help these individuals manage their health care more effectively, provide increased access to services in the most appropriate venue and reduce the cost of health care for all Missourians.”
The Affordable Care Act is set to cut $3.3 billion in payments to Missouri hospitals from 2013 to 2020, though that figure will be partially offset by expansions to Medicaid under the act.