STATE OF CONNECTICUT

OFFICE OF HEALTH CARE ACCESS

410 Capitol Avenue

Hartford, CT 06134

Phone (860) 418-7001

Fax (860) 418-7053

Press Release

Contact: Carolyn Treiss

Phone: (860) 418-7024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 08, 2009

UNINSURED INPATIENT HOSPITALIZATIONS DECLINED   FROM FY 2006 to 2008

 

Hartford - Over the past three years, uninsured inpatient hospitalizations decreased by 6.6 %, from 12,988 in FY 2006 to 12,134 in FY 2008, however the associated charges to treat these uninsured patients rose by 14% from FY 2006 levels to more than $239 million in FY 2008. An "uninsured hospitalization" is one for which no third party payer is responsible for payment, and which often results in financial burdens for patients and their families along with hospitals.

 

The total number of uninsured hospitalizations remained at under 3% of all Connecticut hospitalizations, ranking the state favorably compared to the U.S. average for uninsured hospitalizations (5.7% in 2006). "Although the state's percentage of uninsured inpatient hospitalizations is favorable when compared to the national average, the costs associated with these hospital stays remain a challenge for Connecticut hospitals and families without insurance coverage," said OHCA Commissioner Cristine Vogel.

 

During the three-year period, Medicaid and Medicare hospitalizations increased by 6.1% and 2.5%, respectively. "Connecticut has been increasing its enrollment in the state's Medicaid program and the Governor's Charter Oak Health Plan, and the numbers reflect this commitment in FY 2008. We remain concerned about FY 2009 since that data will show the impact of the economic downturn," said Vogel.

 

While uninsured inpatient admissions declined between FY 2006 and FY 2008, the number of Emergency Department (ED) visits by uninsured patients increased by 2.3%. In FY 2008, of 1.6 million ED visits statewide, 11% were made by patients without insurance. The percentage of uninsured ED visits remained constant for the three-year period.

 

Hispanics accounted for nearly one quarter of the state's uninsured hospitalizations although they are only about 12% of Connecticut's population.

 

Connecticut hospitals that served the highest volume of uninsured resident inpatients were located in urban areas within the state: Hartford Hospital (11%), Yale-New Haven Hospital (10%), St. Vincent's Medical Center (9%) and Norwalk (7%).

 

Although the overall number of uninsured hospitalizations declined, certain hospitals saw an increase in uninsured hospitalizations, the largest being Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, Windham Community Memorial Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael.

 

Copies of this issue brief can be found on OHCA's website at http://www.ct.gov/ohca