Minnesota Hospital Association

Policy & Advocacy

Community Benefit Activities

Minnesota hospitals are essential community partners. Not only do Minnesota hospitals provide high quality care to any patient that needs it, but the commitment of hospitals extends beyond their four walls to their communities through outreach and wellness programs and economic promotion and support.

Through countless medical research projects, physician training initiatives and programs to care for those who cannot pay, Minnesota’s hospitals continued to aid their communities with compassion and commitment. In 2016, Minnesota’s hospitals provided community contributions totaling $4.9 billion, including: 

  • $580 million in uncompensated care, or care provided without payment. This uncompensated care includes “charity care” for patients from whom there is no expectation of payment and “bad debt,” the result of patients who could not or did not pay their share of the hospital bill. Bad debt expense increased by just over 3 percent to $374 million in 2016. Charity care costs increased by just under 19 percent to $205 million in 2016 as hospitals adjusted their charity care and financial assistance policies to accommodate individuals with lower incomes who had insurance coverage with high-deductible out-of-pocket obligations. With the 2017 repeal of the portion of the ACA that mandated individuals have insurance coverage, hospitals and health systems anticipate further increases in both charity care and bad debt in the future.
  • $567 million in proactive services responding to specific community health needs, such as health screenings, health education, health fairs, immunization clinics and other community outreach, including in the areas of fitness, nutrition, weight loss, mental health and diabetes prevention.
  • $452 million in education and workforce development, including training for doctors, nurses and other highly skilled health care professionals.
  • $248 million in research to support the development of better medical treatments and to find cures for diseases.
  • $2.5 billion in government underfunding as a result of treating Medicare and Medicaid patients and receiving government reimbursements that are less than the actual cost of providing the care. This is 9.6 percent of hospitals’ operating expenses.

Read the 2017 Community Benefit Report.