Wisconsin’s not-for-profit hospitals last year generated $28 billion in economic activity and provided $1.4 billion in community benefits, according to new studies.

The studies, completed by the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Hospital Association, reported that nonprofit hospitals absorbed more than $800 million in payment shortfalls associated with medical assistance programs and provided $232 million in charity care.

Additional services at free medical and dental clinics brought total community benefits to $1.4 billion, one of the studies reported.

Nearly nine out of every 10 counties host at least one hospital. In many communities, particularly in rural areas of the state, the hospital is one of the largest employers.

Wisconsin hospitals employ more than 110,000 statewide.

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