Big Hospitals Provide Skimpy Charity Care—Despite Billions in Tax Breaks

Anna Wilde Mathews, Tom McGinty and Melanie Evans:

Nonprofit hospitals get billions of dollars in tax breaks in exchange for providing support to their communities. A Wall Street Journal analysis shows they are often not particularly generous.

These charitable organizations, which comprise the majority of hospitals in the U.S., wrote off in aggregate 2.3% of their patient revenue on financial aid for patients’ medical bills. Their for-profit competitors, a category including publicly traded giants such as HCA Healthcare Inc., wrote off 3.4%, the Journal found in an analysis of the most-recent annual reports hospitals file with the federal government.