State hospitals contribute $1B in community benefits

Iowa's hospitals provided more than $1 billion in community benefits in 2010, suggesting the primal economic force represented by hospitals throughout the United States. The state contains only 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

According to the Iowa Hospital Association, the state's 118 hospitals provided more than $506 million in charity care, $67 million in subsidized health services, nearly $42 million in the improvement of the health of surrounding communities, and $27.5 million for health professions education.

The hospitals also footed $334.3 million in bad debt expense, $195.6 million in Medicaid losses, and $63 million in Medicare losses.

Altogether, the state provided more than 6.3 million encounters via community service programs.

Other state hospital associations have authored similar reports. For example, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported a $22 billion economic impact on the Badger State in 2009, but that report studied the healthcare industry's economic force as a whole, not charity care specifically. A November 2010 report by the Kansas Hospital Association concluded that hospitals generated $4.8 billion in retail sales.

To learn more:
- read the IHA report