Back To Articles

Four PA hospitals top the nation in new rankings, but not for good reasons

May 4, 2023

Four Pennsylvania hospital systems rank in the top 25 nationally for “fair share deficits” according to a 2023 national ranking from the Lown Institute. The ranking compares how much a non-profit hospital receives in tax breaks versus how much it spends on care for those who can’t afford it and community investment.

This means hospitals that rank highly are not doing enough to support their local community, despite having significant resources due to tax breaks and COVID-19 relief funding. This is not a surprise, given recent court decisions in Pennsylvania around excessive pay for hospital executives and profit motive guiding decisions.

Four PA Hospitals Rank in the Top 25 Nationally, with 2 in the Top 5

Four PA hospital systems were ranked highest in the nation in terms of “fair share deficit,” meaning they spend less on charity care and community investment as it compares to the tax breaks they receive for their status as non-profit hospitals.

Below are hospitals in Pennsylvania with the highest fair share deficit:

  • #1: UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, $44 million in profit & fair share deficit of -$246 million
  • #4: Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, $304 million in profit and fair share deficit of -$151 million
  • #15: Lehigh Valley Hospital, $118 million in profit and fair share deficit of -$85 million
  • #23: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, $580 million in profit and fair share deficit of -$69 million

See the full ranking here.

Putting an End to Medical Debt

Medical debt is not rare in Pennsylvania. In fact, a recent report from Kaiser Health News found that 10.5% of Pennsylvanians have medical debt that is already in collections, with an average amount of $550 in debt.

The Lown Institute found that the total statewide “fair share deficit” for Pennsylvania would be enough to wipe out an astounding 91% of Pennsylvanians’ medical debt.

Saving Rural Hospitals

Our state’s fair share deficit would also be enough to save our struggling rural hospitals. Pennsylvania’s statewide fair share deficit is enough to wipe out the losses of our rural hospitals four times over.

Taking Action

The new ranking makes it clear: It’s time for Pennsylvania hospitals to pay their fair share.

Sign the petition to put an END to medical debt and learn more about our work to make sure hospitals pay their fair share.