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Physician Charity and Bad Debt
Purchaser: Physician
Program: Charity and bad debt

Description: Sometimes physicians provide care that is not covered by health insurance, any government program and for which the recipient can not pay. The most recent survey of physicians by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and MVA Research Inc. found each physician provided an average of more than $22,200 in charity in 1997.

Physicians also provide care to patients who have sufficient resources but for whom collections were not made. In 1997, physicians had an average of about $27,400 in bad debts, according to the TMA/MVA study.

Texas physicians provided an estimated $914 million in charity care in 1997.

Texas Total, 1997
Physicians in the state 41,174
Average charity care per physician $22,200
Total charity care by physicians $914,062,800
Average bad debt per physician $27,400
Total bad debt for care given by physicians $1,128,167,600

Source: Texas Medical Association, MVA Research Inc.