The value of community benefit programs and services provided by Kentucky hospitals totaled more than $1.96 billion in 2011, according to a new report by the Kentucky Hospital Association.

That’s up from nearly $1.67 billion just one year prior, and up 85 percent since the 2008 report was published. The total includes $451 million in financial assistance/charity care which has more than doubled in two years, and other costs such as community health improvement services, health professions education, research, bad debt and the unpaid costs of Medicaid and Medicare.  The report highlights the ways hospitals routinely go beyond their core mission to meet other community needs while contributing to the economic strength of their communities. “Kentucky’s 131 hospitals continue to provide an important medical safety net for health services and programs at a time when economic turmoil and reform of our country’s health care system are affecting all aspects of our society,” said KHA President Michael T. Rust, FACHE. Read report