State Hospitals Say Large Number of Arkansans Without Health Insurance Creating Debt Woes

February 2, 2004 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A hospital official at Little Rock says the growing number of Arkansans without health insurance is steadily raising the amount of debt owed to hospitals.  Much of the money is owed by patients who can't pay health care bills.  The Arkansas Hospital Association says such debt has more than tripled since 1990 in Arkansas.

Bob Roberts, vice president of financial services for Little Rock's Baptist Health System, said that system's debt last fiscal year was equal to eleven percent of its net revenues.  He said it clearly stems from fewer people having insurance coverage.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)