According to Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, “It’s hard to overestimate the impact Missouri hospitals have on the economy.” True enough.
This week, MHA released the annual Community Investment Report. It spotlights Missouri hospitals' essential role in providing a safety net, and underscores hospitals’ significant contributions to the economy. The report finds that in 2014, the state’s hospitals provided $2.75 billion in community benefit and their investments in salaries, benefits and capital improvements exceeded $11.2 billion.
There’s no question that the problem of Missouri’s uninsured is as profound as ever. Although 2014 was the first year of enrollment in the federal marketplace, and the Missouri economy was on the mend, reductions in uncompensated care costs were not realized. In fact, the costs of caring for the uninsured and underinsured grew — significantly.
Charity care cost increased by $136 million in 2014 to a record total of $723 million. Bad debt increased to $563 million, an increase of $56 million. The total cost of uncompensated care in 2014 was $1.3 billion — another record.
There was another stunning fact included in the release. Between 2004 and 2014, Missouri hospitals' charity care cost increased by 469 percent — from $154 million to $723 million throughout a decade.
Two weeks ago, MHA launched an expanded price and quality transparency program with the Focus On Hospitals website relaunch. The Community Investment Report is the final data component of the site.
As we move toward the Triple Aim promise of better care, better health and lower cost, we need partners committed to helping build a high-performing health care system. It will include expanded coverage, because a well-designed system begins with primary care, not an emergency department visit. It also demands serious partners — organizations committed to improvement and the delivery of value. I appreciate the Missouri Chamber’s leadership in supporting the building of a better health care system and their recognition of the contribution of hospitals to the state’s economy. They are a great partner on a variety of issues.
Missouri’s hospitals can’t rebuild this system alone. Presently, we’re doing our share and then some. This week’s report is evidence.
Drop me a note with your thoughts.
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
In This Issue
MHA Comments To Congressional Committee On Site-Neutral Payments
State Senate Approves Tort Reform Bill
Convenants Not To Compete Bill Sent Back To Lower Committee
MHD Issues Program Updates
CMS Releases Supplemental Guidance For Abstracting Sepsis
CMS Schedules Rural Health Open Door Forum