DISTRIBUTION OF UNCOMPENSATED CARE
The first question addressed in this analysis was, To what extent do hospitals in Miami-Dade County share the burden of providing care to the uninsured? A subsidiary question was, What sources of revenue are accessed by Miami-Dade County hospitals? These questions were raised during a discussion of hospital-specific financial information prepared by the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) for 1997. (The data are reproduced in Table A.3 in the Appendix.).1 This information included ownership, total patient revenue, total operating costs, bad debt, charity care provided, funds received to support the provision of charity care, and the estimated costs associated with uncompensated care delivered by each hospital. The table prepared by the FHA showed that all the hospitals had some level of uncompensated care (charity care plus bad debt), but JMH was the sole hospital to receive surtax revenues that offset some of the cost of the uncompensated care it delivered.
We updated the information using data for calendar year 1999 to obtain a more current picture of the financial status of Miami-Dade County hospitals. (The updated information is presented in Table A.4 in the Appendix). The 1999 data were provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). All hospitals in Florida annually report financial data to the state, and these data are made public in a uniform, computer-readable format, using common definitions.2____________________