Our annual profile of association membership, Essential Data: Our Hospitals, Our Patients, illustrates the social and economic challenges that influence health and weigh heaviest on the disadvantaged people and communities essential hospitals serve. While the details in this report vary year to year, the story remains the same: Millions of people rely on essential hospitals for exceptional care, jobs and economic activity, and front-line leadership in times of greatest need.
This year’s report, based on data collected from our annual Member Characteristics Survey and other national sources, also found persistently high levels of uncompensated and charity care pushed the average margin at essential hospitals down to one-third that of other hospitals in 2018.
Essential Data: Our Hospitals, Our Patients, also found essential hospitals:
- provided 15.9 percent of all uncompensated care nationally, or about $6.6 billion;
- served communities in which 23.2 million individuals live below the poverty line, 9.7 million struggle with food insecurity, and three-quarters were uninsured or covered by Medicaid or Medicare;
- accounted for a third of the nation’s level I trauma centers and nearly 42 percent of burn care beds; and
- trained three times more physician residents than other U.S. teaching hospitals.
Infographics and narrative stories throughout the report illustrate the findings, documenting the vital role essential hospitals play in caring for vulnerable people and communities at large.