Mo. hospitals provided $1.1B in uncompensated care

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri hospitals report providing a record $1.1 billion of uncompensated care to patients in 2011.

The Missouri Hospital Association says the figure includes $623 million of charity care provided at 129 hospitals, an increase of about 400 percent since 2004. The total amount of uncompensated care rises to $1.1 billion when other unpaid bills are included.

The hospital group is citing the figures while encouraging Missouri lawmakers to expand Medicaid eligibility to more adults.

Under the new federal health care law, payments to Missouri hospitals could decline by $3.3 billion from 2013 to 2020. The federal law assumes hospitals can handle the cuts because they would be getting more money from an increased number of people covered by private insurance or the government-run Medicaid program.

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