10 May Lee Memorial hospital charity care more expensive
Hospital charity is getting more expensive.
Lee Memorial Health System’s annual report on services it provides to the community shows Southwest Florida’s largest hospital system provided $45.6 million in care to patients who could not pay in 2012, a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
The figure is part of a broader report outlining costs it absorbs to treat under-insured patients and a comparison to the financial gain the organization gets as a tax-exempt entity.
Including reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid that don’t fully cover treatment costs, Lee Memorial provided $248.9 million in what is known as “community benefit,” about $48 million more than it did the previous year, according to health system administrators.
These benefits have grown 56 percent over the last five years, said Sally Jackson, the health system’s director of government and community relations.