Charity care questioned
Charity care questioned
In the news story “Mayor proposes 30 percent tax rate decrease because of reassessment” (Jan. 15 and TribLIVE.com), UPMC spokeswoman Susan Manko claims “UPMC last year provided nearly $250 million in charity care for which taxpayers otherwise would have paid.” UPMC may want to get its story straight.
UPMC gives one figure to its bondholders — when it is trying to portray itself as efficient — then exaggerates the same number when talking to the press about how charitable it is.
On Page 10 of UPMC's financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2012 ( upmc.com/about/finances/Documents/2012-audited-financials.pdf ), UPMC states that it provided $96.2 million in charity care — not $250 million. And Page 3 shows it had more than $5.3 billion in patient revenues. Do the math: UPMC's charity-care costs were less than 2 percent of its patient revenues.
To claim $250 million, UPMC appears to include some expenses associated with Medicaid patients, since Medicaid tends to pay less than commercial insurers. But many for-profit health care providers also bear these costs. Unlike UPMC, these for-profit providers are not exempt from property taxes.
We should press UPMC to meet its community obligations, but if it doesn't, it should be taxed to provide funds for the vital needs of our community.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Board’s-eye view
- Ask for help; don’t steal
- Thanks for the support
- Reward good service
- Majority defied
- Missile defense, not talks
- Positive & healthy ...
- Hiring in Westmoreland I
- Hiring in Westmoreland II
- More answers, please
- Backyard fires hazardous