The five largest hospitals in Portland and Southwest Oregon had a combined total of $236.5 million in charity care and unpaid debts at the end of 2017, according to a published report.
The report did not indicate whether the totals for those hospitals was lower or higher than a year earlier. What is interesting is that the hospitals that topped the list of those with the highest total of charity care and bad debt were the fourth- and fifth-largest hospitals in the area. Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, which had $699 in net patient revenue, had $62.4 million of charity care and bad debt, and Salem Hospital, which had $707 million of net patient revenue, had $57.1 million of charity care and bad debt.
Among the 25 most financially healthy hospitals in the area, the average amount of charity care and bad debt — also known as uncompensated care — was 2.4% of the hospitals’ gross patient revenue. Salem Health West Valley Hospital, in Dallas, Oregon, had the highest ratio, with uncompensated care accounting for 5.9% of gross patient revenue.
The report dovetails with a similar report that was issued recently which revealed that hospitals in Minnesota had $467 million in uncompensated care at the end of 2017, a 25% increase from a year earlier.