MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A new report says Minnesota hospitals provided $1.5 billion in uncompensated care in 2011.

The Minnesota Hospital Association says that's 26 percent more than the previous year. The association says the amount of unpaid care for low-income Minnesotans and seniors is made worse by declining reimbursement from state and federal government programs.

The hospital association's report comes as it prepares to lobby the Legislature to support key elements of the Affordable Care Act, including an expansion of Medicaid and a state-run insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses.

The state Department of Health released its own estimate earlier this week which says hospitals provided $308 million in unpaid care, a figure that doesn't include bad debt or gaps in Medicare.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)