Undocumented Aliens:

Estimating the Cost of Their Uncompensated Hospital Care

PEMD-87-24BR: Published: Sep 16, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the methodology and conceptual bases for estimating the cost of health care provided to illegal aliens by health care institutions.

GAO found that: (1) most hospitals and health institutions have relied on inaccurate data to estimate the cost of health care provided to illegal aliens; (2) since most hospitals did not have records of patients' immigration status, their cost estimates were inadequate; and (3) health care provided to illegal aliens has been financed through state and local government subsidies and the shifting of costs to private insurers.

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