Uninsured Patients Leave Hospitals with $73 Billion Unpaid

Uninsured patients pay only about 12 percent of their hospital bills in full and leave hospitals with unpaid portions totaling up to $73 billion per year, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly two million uninsured Americans are hospitalized each year, with 58 percent of these hospital stays resulting in bills of more than $10,000, the study found. Hospital stays for which the uninsured cannot pay in full account for 95 percent of the total amount hospitals bill the uninsured. HHS said some studies estimate that the uncompensated cost of care in the U.S. was between $56 billion and $73 billion in 2008.

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