Clarification on story about Kern Medical Center

Hospital finances can be quite complicated and subject to different interpretation. To avoid confusion, we're amending our story about Kern Medical Center to include additional figures.
BAKERSFIELD, CA -- Based on data from Kern Medical Center, we said Wednesday that in 2012, zero percent of the patients at Mercy and Memorial Hospitals were part of a group for which the county is financially responsible.

We used that figure to compare hospitals.

In reality, according 2011-2012 financial data from the state, 0.39 percent of patients at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital were in the so-called county-covered indigent group.

At the two campuses of Mercy Hospital, 0.19 percent of patients were county-covered indigent. At San Joaquin Community Hosptial, 0.51 percent of patients were county-covered indigent.

KMC told us that 24 percent of its patients fall into this group but there are new questions about that figure.   KMC combines all its patients into that single group, but other hospitals divide the group, meaning a comparison of these numbers might overstate the difference between KMC and the other hospitals.

So for comparison sake we added up the total number of all indigent patients admitted to Kern County hospitals in fiscal year 2011-2012.  Of the nearly 5,000 patients, Memorial took care of 22 percent, Mercy cared for 15 percent, San Joaquin cared for 4 percent, KMC cared for 53 percent and the remaining 6 percent went to other hospitals.


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