According to the American Hospital Association, Medicare and Medicaid underpaid U.S. hospitals by about $76.8 billion in 2017. Underpayments occur when the payment received is less than the cost of providing care, that is, the amount paid by hospitals for the personnel, technology and other goods and services required by the hospital to function.
Medicare underpayments in 2017 totaled $53.9 billion and Medicaid underpayments $22.9 billion.
Also, in 2017, hospitals provided around $38.4 billion in uncompensated care. (Healthcare Finance News, 1-4-19)
To add to this, in 2017, 66 percent of hospitals received Medicare payments that were less than cost, while 62 percent of hospitals received Medicaid payments that were less than cost.
Read AHA Fact Sheet On Underpayments