CT hospitals’ charity care varied widely last year, a bit more than US

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Last year, uncompensated care at Connecticut’s 27 acute care hospitals averaged 1.8% of total expenses, according to the state’s latest report. However, that rate varied from 4.2% at Norwalk Hospital to 0.5% at CT Children’s. Uncompensated care is services provided that hospitals are not paid for. It includes charity care, which hospitals forgive from the beginning, and bad debt, payments hospitals were unable to collect.

For context, Connecticut hospitals made $337 million in total profits in 2021, with a statewide margin of 9.18%. Twenty of Connecticut’s 27 hospitals were profitable. Total uncompensated care in 2021 was down 7.5% from the year before.

For comparison to US hospitals, in 2020 US hospitals’ uncompensated care averaged 1.4%  of operating expenses, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2020, Connecticut hospitals’ uncompensated care was $774 million or 1.9% of total expenses, down 3.9% from the year before. (Note: these may not be exactly equivalent due to differences in definitions and methodology). Also in 2020, Connecticut hospitals made $40.9 million in profit and 18 of 27 hospitals were profitable with a statewide margin of 2.61%.

In general, Connecticut hospitals’ uncompensated care percent of total expenses ranking was fairly stable from 2020 to 2021.