Minnesota Nonprofit Hospitals Score A #HospitalFail

Nonprofit hospitals were organized to serve. Massive tax breaks mean Minnesota nonprofit hospitals should provide charity care to the needy, serve as accessible health care providers for low-income patients, and invest in their communities.

But Minnesota nonprofit hospitals aren’t keeping their side of the deal.

Minnesota nonprofit hospitals receive billions of dollars in tax breaks for the promise of providing charity care and community benefits. And yet, the state’s hospitals have collectively racked up a “fair share deficit” of $1.1 billion dollars. In other words, nonprofit hospitals in Minnesota pocketed a whopping $1.1 billion more in tax breaks than what they spent on community benefits and charity care for needy patients.

Hospitals today are big businesses and the largest contributors to US health care costs. Too often, their interests are at odds with Minnesotans’ health and financial security.

CQC’s Nonprofit Hospital Scorecards call out disturbing trends among nonprofit hospitals as we urge lawmakers to put an end to predatory hospital practices and ensure that nonprofit hospitals truly act like nonprofits.

1 Lown Institute, “Lown Institute Hospitals Index: 2024 Results Fair Share Spending,” April 2024, https://lownhospitalsindex.org/hospital-fair-share-spending-2024/

2 Lown Institute, “Lown Institute Hospitals Index: 2024 Results Fair Share Spending,” Hospitals With Largest Fair Share Deficits, April 2024, https://lownhospitalsindex.org/hospital-fair-share-spending-2024/

3 The Rochester Post Bulletin, “They could have qualified for charity care. But Mayo Clinic sued them,” November 2022, https://www.postbulletin.com/newsmd/they-could-have-qualified-for-charity-care-but-mayo-clinic-sued-them

4 National Public Radio, “Investigation: Many U.S. hospitals sue patients for debts or threaten their credit,” December 2022, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/21/1144491711/investigation-many-u-s-hospitals-sue-patients-for-debts-or-threaten-their-credit

5 Innovation for Justice, University of Arizona and the University of Utah, “Medical Debt Policy Scorecard,” October 2021, https://www.medicaldebtpolicyscorecard.org/state/MN

6 PatientRightsAdvocate.org, “Sixth Semi-Annual Hospital Price Transparency Compliance Report,” February 2024, https://www.patientrightsadvocate.org/semi-annual-report-feb2024, pg. 24

7 Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, “Access & Affordability: The Burden of Medical Debt in the United States,” February 2024, https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/the-burden-of-medical-debt-in-the-united-states/

8 Rand Corporation, “Prices Paid to Hospitals by Private Health Plans: Findings from Round 5 of an Employer-Led Transparency Initiative,” May 2024, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1144-2.html

9 Axios, “How America’s Top Hospitals Send Patient Costs Soaring,” June 2021, https://www.axios.com/hospital-billing

10 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, “State Rankings,” November 2023, https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/your-hospitals-safety-grade/state-rankings

All data as of May 2024.

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