St. Paul, MN (KROC_AM News) - A new report from the Minnesota Department of health shows Minnesota hospitals have reported a nearly 17-percent reduction in uncompensated care since the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act three years ago.

The figure encompasses both care provided by hospitals without expecting payment and bad debt, which covers outstanding bills for care that the hospitals do not expect to be settled.

Last year, the health department says the amount of uncompensated care in Minnesota dropped 12-percent, from $305 million to $268 million. That is the lowest that figure has been since 2008.

Officials say the improvement is largely due to fewer Minnesotans lacking health insurance. The state’s uninsured rate dropped from 8.2-percent in 2013 to only 4.3-percent last year.

The decline in uncompensated care was not universal. Over a third of the hospitals in the state experienced an increase, including three of the state’s largest hospitals. The Hennepin County Medical Center and the two Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester.

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