During this time period, public hospitals have also reported a 10% increase in uncompensated-care costs; averaging $2.3 million per hospital, with some hospitals incurring more than $16 million in additional costs, the survey found.
While they represent just 2% of hospitals in the country, safety net hospitals provide 19% of all hospital-based uncompensated care, the survey noted.
“America’s public hospitals are in a precarious situation and Medicaid cuts at the state level will hinder their ability to continue serving as our nation’s health care safety net,” NAPH President Larry Gage said in a written statement. “The impact will weaken the fragile viability of the nation’s safety net and force public hospitals to close their doors due to inadequate financing.”
In a statement, NAPH called on Congress to enact comprehensive healthcare reform to ensure universal access to care, plus extend provisions for fiscal relief to states and safety net hospitals under the stimulus bill approved last year.
Forty-one health systems responded to the survey, which took place in the second half of 2009.
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