Patient Information and Charity Care

Charity Care

The 1989 Legislature enacted RCW 70.170.060, which prohibits any Washington hospital from denying access to emergency care based on inability to pay, or adopting admission policies which significantly reduce charity care. The same legislation directs each hospital to develop a charity care policy. The Department of Health is responsible for rule making and monitoring related to charity care, and is required to report to the legislature and governor on an annual basis.

This report provides a source of data to assess the impact of uncompensated healthcare on hospital charges and continued access to healthcare in a community and is a resource document for people wishing to conduct research or seek information on uncompensated healthcare.

Annual charity care reports

Washington hospitals reported $1.03 billion in charity care charges in FY 2019. Charity care was 1.36 percent of total hospital revenue and 3.61 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $956 million in charity care charges in FY 2018. Charity care was 1.36 percent of total hospital revenue and 3.54 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $772 million in charity care charges in FY 2017. Charity care was 1.18 percent of total hospital revenue and 3.12 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $568 million in charity care charges in FY 2016. Charity care was 0.9 percent of total hospital revenue and 2.11 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $532 million in charity care charges in FY 2015. Charity care was 0.9 percent of total hospital revenue and 2.4 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $942 million in charity care charges in FY 2014. Charity care was 1.8 percent of total hospital revenue and 4.4 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $1.4 billion in charity care charges in FY 2013. Charity care was 3 percent of total hospital revenue and 6.3 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $1.3 billion in charity care charges in FY 2012. Charity care was 2.9 percent of total hospital revenue and 6.2 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported $1.1 billion in charity care charges in FY 2011. Charity care was 2.7 percent of total hospital revenue and 5.8 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue.

Washington hospitals reported just over $1 billion in charity care charges in FY 2010. Charity care was 2.6 percent of total hospital revenue and 5.5 percent of adjusted (non-Medicare, non-Medicaid) revenue. Total charity care charges increased 21 percent from what hospitals reported for FY 2009, and an increase of 50 percent from what was reported for FY 2008.

Earlier editions are available by contacting our charity care program. Documents posted in PDF version on the Department of Health website are available in an alternative format on request to users who are unable to download or view PDF files on the Web. To request an alternative format, email CharityCare@doh.wa.gov.

Back to top