Charity Care and Uncompensated Care Activities of Tax-Exempt Critical Access Hospitals (FMT Policy Brief #38)


This policy brief compares Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) with non-CAHs in terms of their activity and policies regarding charity care, bad debt, billing, and collection; discusses the implications of these policies; and identifies opportunities for state Flex Programs to help CAHs manage charity care and bad debt.


Compared to other rural and urban hospitals, CAHs report:

  • Higher rates of uncompensated care (for which no payment is received);
  • Lower rates of charity care;
  • Higher rates of bad debt;
  • A lower percentage of bad debt attributable to charity care eligible patients not recognized by charity care programs; and
  • More restrictive charity and discounted care eligibility criteria.

An associated briefing paper presents these findings and implications in greater detail than this policy brief.  


Community Impact Uncompensated Care