News                            

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2010 
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Contact: William Gerrish, (860) 509-7270
                                                                                                            

Connecticut Hospitals’ Uncompensated Care Costs Rising

Hartford According to the newest publication released today by the Connecticut Department of Public Health Office of Health Care Access entitled Connecticut Acute Care Hospital Uncompensated Care Trends, hospitals are experiencing rising costs in uncompensated care. 

Uncompensated care is a term used to identify losses that result from charity care and bad debt expense.  From Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 to FY 2008 uncompensated care costs increased from $191 to $257 million dollars, a 34% increase.  Uncompensated care grew at a faster pace than operating expenses in each of the three fiscal years analyzed in the report.

The majority (84%) of uncompensated care costs were associated with uninsured patients.  Cristine Vogel, Deputy Commissioner noted, “Health care reform will reduce the number of uninsured patients, however, this publication illustrates that uncompensated care costs do not directly correlate with a negative total margin for hospitals.”

The report shows that the state’s hospitals with the highest ratios of uncompensated care to operating expenses all had total margins higher than the statewide average of 1.49%.  “While the impact of reform on uncompensated care will be beneficial, hospitals will continue to be challenged financially,” she said.

More than half of the state’s uncompensated care costs originated in urban hospitals, which treated a high volume of Connecticut’s inpatients, 7,000 of whom were uninsured.  Rural hospitals experienced the largest growth in uncompensated care costs, up 66% between FY 2006 and FY 2008.

A complete copy of this report can be found on OHCA's website at http://www.ct.gov/ohca.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph  or call (860) 509-7270.

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