Wisconsin hospitals say they lost $2.6 billion caring for Medicare, Medicaid patients in 2015

Government does not provide full reimbursement to hospitals to care for those patients

health care system

Wisconsin hospitals and health systems say they lost more than $2.6 billion caring for patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs last year, according to a report released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

The WHA is a hospital advocacy organization that includes 133 of the state’s 164 hospitals, health care systems and care providers. WHA members surveyed for the report said they lost a total of more than $1 billion caring for patients enrolled in Medicaid and $1.6 billion on patients enrolled in Medicare.

Hospitals in Wisconsin are reimbursed by the state and the federal government for roughly 65 percent of the cost of care for Medicaid patients and roughly 78 percent the cost of care for Medicare patients.

“Wisconsin hospitals are committing financial and human resources to improve the overall health status of our state by providing essential services in their communities, which, if they were not available, would place a much greater burden on our state and local governments,” WHA president and chief executive officer Eric Borgerding said in a statement. “By doing this, Wisconsin hospitals and health systems support a health care ‘safety net’ across the state and ensure our most vulnerable populations receive the care they need.”

The report also broke down spending on  charity care and clinical and graduate medical education programs. The report is available in its entirety here.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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