The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 3, 2013

State hospitals spend small percentages on charity care

(Continued)

NORMAN —

In the meantime, hospitals in the state will continue to provide care to those who need it, Mullin said.

“No one gets turned away and not even just the Catholic hospitals but any ER across the state. You go in there and they are going to provide you with care regardless of who you are and if you can pay.”

Reach the reporters at ziva.branstetter@tulsaworld.com, cadcock@oklahomawatch.org and curtis.killman@tulsaworld.com.

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization that produces in-depth and investigate content on important public-policy issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to www. oklahomawatch.org.

SIDEBAR

At least 40 hospitals spend less than 1 percent on charity care

By Ziva Branstetter of the Tulsa World and Clifton Adcock of Oklahoma Watch

At least 40 nonprofit or government-owned hospitals in Oklahoma spent less than 1 percent of their net patient revenues caring for those who couldn’t afford to pay their medical bills, records show.

The data, obtained by Oklahoma Watch and analyzed and reported with the Tulsa World, covers 2011 and 2012. Some hospitals reported spending below 1 percent during both years while only one year of data was available for others.

Most of the hospitals with charity care below 1 percent had negative operating margins but a few did not.

Wagoner Community Hospital spent less than half of 1 percent of patient revenues on charity care in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, the hospital reported a 22 percent operating margin in 2012.

Rod Shook, CFO of Wagoner Community Hospital, said the hospital has difficulty getting patients to take advantage of charity care available to them.

“We offer the applications and the patients take them. However, it’s very difficult to get it back from them. We would prefer that they be charity care rather than bad debt.”

St. Anthony Hospital and Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and Integris Blackwell Regional Hospital also made the list of hospitals that spent less than 1 percent of patient revenue on charity care in 2011 or 2012.

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