Northeast Ohio Hospitals Provided $1.97 Billion in Community Benefits in 2021
At the same time, both charity care and bad debt shrunk
Northeast Ohio hospital community benefit grew to $1.97 billion in 2021 according to the latest analysis by The Center for Health Affairs. This is a 5.2 percent increase from 2020, when $1.87 billion in community benefit was delivered.
Medicaid continuous enrollment under the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) was one of the most influential factors in the allocation of community benefit in 2021. During the PHE, the federal government covered more of the states' Medicaid expenses under the condition states suspended redeterminations of Medicaid eligibility. This resulted in a large number of people maintaining Medicaid coverage throughout the PHE. Hospitals typically receive roughly 88 cents in reimbursement for every dollar of care delivered to patients covered by Medicaid. As a result, Medicaid shortfall increased 9 percent from 2020 to 2021.
At the same time, both charity care and bad debt decreased, by 3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. The decrease is likely to be related to Medicaid continuous enrollment because people were not losing their Medicaid coverage during this time. Often, care provided to people who are found to be no longer eligible for Medicaid becomes charity care or bed debt.
Please select this link to read the complete press release from the Center for Health Affairs.