Bad Debt at Minnesota Hospitals Keeps Climbing: Report

The amount of bad debt incurred by hospitals in Minnesota increased by 25% in 2017 compared with a year earlier, and stood at $467 million, as more individuals with high deductible health plans are unable to meet their financial obligations, according to a report issued by the Minnesota Hospital Association.

Along with the increase in bad debt, the amount of charity care offered by hospitals in Minnesota increased 9% to $224 million, according to the report.

The increase in the number of high deductible health plans, coupled with an increase in the number of individuals in Minnesota who did not have health insurance were cited as the primary drivers for the increase in the amount of unpaid debts.

The amount of uncompensated care, which is a sum of the amount of bad debt and charity care, was nearly $700 million in 2017, up from $536 million in 2015.

In breaking the debt down by region, the area of the state encompassing Minneapolis and St. Paul accounted for $290 million of the $467 million in uncompensated care, according to the report.

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