The financial ramifications of uncompensated care cost (UCC) on the healthcare industry have been difficult to quantify. With the lack of a standardized definition of uncompensated care and the need to account for the uninsured, indigent, and immigrant populations, the authors identified $190 million of UCC from Southwestern border hospitals for emergency room treatment of undocumented immigrants and $934 million of uncompensated care charges for 23 hospitals in a Texas county, which translated to $353 million of UCC. Although lawmakers passed the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act (2003) to address the growing imbalance, the shortfall of funds highlights the growing crisis and need for policy intervention.
Coustasse, A., Lorden, A. L., Nemarugommula, V., & Singh, K. P. (2009). Uncompensated care cost: A pilot study using hospitals in a Texas county. Hospital Topics, 87(2), 3-12.