TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida hospitals paid for $1.5 billion in health costs for uninsured and underinsured patients last year.
The Florida Hospital Association released its annual report Wednesday, noting it provided inpatient care for 2.7 million people and treated 9.5 million patients in emergency rooms in 2014. Hospitals contributed a total of $4.2 billion in community benefits, including charity care. Hospitals also spent about $22.4 million to ensure they are prepared to for emergencies, including hurricanes or outbreaks such as Ebola.
Florida hospitals helped more than 39,000 individuals obtain health plan insurance through the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid.
The report comes as Gov. Rick Scott has repeatedly criticized hospitals, accusing them of price gouging patients and charging rates that are driving up Medicaid costs. He’s proposed legislation encouraging more transparency on hospital pricing, but it’ unclear if anyone will take up the bill.