U.S. hospitals uncompensated care rose 8.3% to $31.2 billion in 2006, the American Hospital Association said. The figure, released annually by the Chicago-based trade group, includes the cost of bad debt and charity care from its survey of U.S. general acute-care hospitals. Uncompensated care as a percentage of overall expenses inched upward to 5.7%, compared with 5.6% the past two years.
Separately, the AHA reported hospitals losses on Medicare climbed 20% to $18.6 billion and Medicaid losses increased 15.3% to $11.3 billion. The survey of roughly 4,900 hospitals provides a snapshot of the industrys operations and finances. As previously reported, hospitals reported an aggregate net margin of 6% on net revenue of $587.1 billion in 2006. -- by Melanie Evans
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