New Statewide Report Highlights Hospitals Substantial Increase of Community Health, Wellness Investments

Columbus, Ohio - 43215 (Dec. 23, 2019) – Ohio hospitals in 2017 invested $6.4 billion in total community benefit and provided nearly $9 billion in total uncompensated care, according to a new statewide report released today by the Ohio Hospital Association.

“Hospitals are cornerstones of the communities they serve, caring for the sick and injured, advancing wellness and providing employment,” said Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “In addition to offering quality patient care, Ohio hospitals are healing communities and developing programs to combat social issues impacting our state. Together with their communities and partners, hospitals innovate and explore new strategies to ensure a healthy Ohio.”

Total net community benefit reported by Ohio’s hospitals grew from $5 billion to $6.4 billion in 2017. This includes an accounting for Medicaid loss, which increased in 2017 at $12.7 billion. Medicaid loss is the hospital’s cost of providing services to patients covered by Medicaid, less the reimbursement paid to the hospital by Ohio Medicaid. 

Overall, Ohio hospitals provided $4 billion in community benefit activities, up 33% from 2016. The activities include health screenings, free/discounted prescriptions and supplies, immunization clinics, meals and nutrition services, health education, clinical and community research and health studies to improve the health of Ohioans, family support services and health professions education. Charity care increased from $458 million in 2016 to $482 million as more than 660,000 Ohioans were uninsured in 2017 from 2016. Factoring in Medicare losses and bad debt, Ohio hospitals provided $8.9 billion in total uncompensated care in 2017, up 22% from 2016.

Hospital Care Assurance Program is Ohio’s federally required Medicaid Disproportionate Share 
Hospital Program. HCAP compensates hospitals who provide a disproportionate share of care to indigent patients including Medicaid beneficiaries, people below the federal poverty and people without health insurance. Hospitals subtract any supplemental payments they receive for treating a disproportionate share of Medicaid and Medicare patients to calculate net community benefit. 

Beyond the health care provided, OHA’s report shows Ohio hospitals were the catalyst for $31.4 billion in economic activity for Ohio in 2017, employing more than 255,000 Ohioans and paying $18.1 billion in direct wages. For more information about hospitals economic impact, click here.

About the Data
Nonprofit hospitals nationally report community benefit as part of IRS 990 following the guidelines of the Catholic Health Association. OHA’s report is aggregated from self-reported member hospital surveys, fiscal 2017 Ohio hospital IRS 990 filings and Medicare and Medicaid cost reports covering the same period. All figures reported at hospital-specific cost. Disproportionate share hospital payments are supplemental payments for eligible hospitals that serve a large number of Medicaid and other low-income patients.