All non-federal hospitals in Wisconsin are required to submit audited financial data to the Bureau of Health Information within 120 days after the end of their fiscal year. The information is available electronically in a public use file. We combined the data submitted for hospital fiscal years ending in calendar year 1997 and 1998 to develop FY1998 financial information for each acute care hospital (based on the number of months covered by the respective reports that occurred during FY1998). Key data that we used included the following:
- Gross revenues by payer. Medicare and Medicaid managed care gross revenues are reported as specific line items. Gross charges billed to county general relief and self-pay patients are separately reported. Gross revenues billed to non-Wisconsin Medicaid programs are combined with billings to other government programs such as CHAMPUS and VA and are not included in our measure of low-income patient revenues.
- Medicaid shortfalls. Total Medicaid payments are separately reported for Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care enrollees. No breakdown is provided between inpatient and outpatient services. Disproportionate share payments are not separately identified from other Medicaid patient revenue.
- Uncompensated care and bad debt. Charity care is measured on the basis of revenue foregone at full-established rates. Courtesy allowances and employee discounts are separately reported. Charges written off as bad debts are reported as an expense.