Minnesota’s not-for-profit hospitals provided 27% more charity care in 2010 than in 2009, according to the community benefits report released last week by the Minnesota Hospital Association.
Overall, hospitals provided $3.4 billion in community benefits in 2010, a 6% increase over 2009.
The report said hospitals increased their discounted and free care and other benefits even as they faced economic strains.
Uncompensated care, including debts patients could not pay, totaled $496.5 million. Hospitals provided $1.17 billion in community health services, education programs, research and other community activities. Another $1.3 billion represents underpayments for care provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
The report covers 2010 spending and was compiled from information self-reported by hospitals and data from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Hospitals and their advocacy groups across the country are promoting community benefit figures in an attempt to show they continue to warrant the perks of tax exemption.