Missouri hospitals' uncompensated care rose 469 percent over decade
JEFFERSON CITY - The amount of charity care Missouri hospitals provided increased 469 percent from 2004 to 2014, new data from the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) reveals.
"That's just a stunning amount of growth," MHA VP of Public and Media Relations Dave Dillon said.
Dillon said charity care is defined as care that is provided for free for individuals who do not have insurance or the ability to pay for their care.
He said he is not exactly sure what caused the increase, but the economy is a likely factor.
"Missouri’s hospitals deliver significant value to the communities they serve,” MHA President and CEO Herb Kuhn said.
The report shows Missouri hospitals provided more than $1.3 billion in uncompensated care in 2014.
Dillon also said hospitals are good for local economies because Missouri hospitals employ nearly 148,000 workers.