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.

View the fiscal year 2019 community benefit report, which reflects the most recent data available.

Community contribution highlights

In 2019, Minnesota’s hospitals provided community contributions totaling $3.3 billion, including: 

  • $675 million to patients who did not have health insurance or the means to pay for their care, an increase of 24% compared to 2018. 
    • Uncompensated care includes charity care for patients from whom there is no expectation of payment and bad debt resulting from patients who could not or did not pay their share of the hospital bill. The widespread use of high-deductible health plans can lead to patients being unable to pay their deductibles or copayments, contributing to bad debt. Minnesota’s uninsured rate was 4.7% in 2019, leaving approximately 264,000 Minnesotans without health insurance coverage.
    • Bad debt expense increased by 46.5% to $510 million in 2019. Much of the bad debt growth is related to the expanding implementation of health plan products with higher out-of-pocket deductibles for enrollees to hold down premium growth.
    • While charity care costs have steadily increased in recent years, they decreased by 16% to $164 million in 2019. Some of the bad debt incurred would likely qualify as charity care, but hospitals and health systems are unable to categorize uncompensated care as charity care if patients do not complete financial assistance enrollment.
  • $179 million in proactive services responding to specific community health needs, such as health screenings, health education, health fairs, immunization clinics, subsidized health services and other community outreach programs, including in the areas of fitness, nutrition, weight loss, mental health and diabetes prevention. 
  • $180 million in education and workforce development, including training for doctors, nurses and other highly skilled health care professionals. 
  • $13.6 million in research to support the development of better medical treatments and to find cures for diseases. 
  • $1.76 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 was 8.47% of hospitals’ and health systems’ operating expenses.

Past community benefit reports