Corydon, IA September 5, 2014: Wayne County Hospital provides $1,010,016 in community benefits to Wayne County according to a recently completed assessment of those programs and services. That amount, based on 2013 figures, includes $939,128 in uncompensated care and $70,888 in free or discounted community benefits that Wayne County Hospital specifically implemented to help Wayne County residents.
Community benefits are activities designed to improve health status and increase access to health care. Along with uncompensated care (which includes both charity care and bad debt), community benefits include such services and programs as health screenings, support groups, counseling, immunizations, nutritional services and transportation programs.
The results for Wayne County Hospital are included in a statewide report by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) that shows Iowa hospitals provided community benefits in 2013 valued at nearly $1.3 billion, including more than $335 million in charity care. All 118 of Iowa’s community hospitals participated in the survey.
“Providing payment assistance and financial counseling are important aspects to serving our community. We have a responsibility to provide payment options so our patients can receive the health care they need. ” said CEO, Daren Relph.
The programs and services accounted for in the survey were implemented in direct response to the needs of individual communities as well as entire counties and regions. Many of these programs and services simply would not exist without hospital support and leadership, said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.
But the ability of Iowa hospitals to respond to such needs is affected by many factors, including managing huge losses inflicted upon by Medicare and Medicaid, totaling more than $314 million. More than 60 percent of all hospital revenue in Iowa comes from Medicare and Medicaid. Hospitals serving small, rural communities and counties are particularly dependent on these programs.
Iowa hospitals, which employee more than 71,000 people, continue implement strategies that increase value to their patients and communities by offering high-quality care to individuals, addressing the health needs of identified populations and implementing process improvements that bend the cost curve. By seeking out ways to raise quality, reduce waste and increase safety, Iowa hospitals have become value leaders, as shown in multiple studies by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and the Commonwealth Fund.
These efforts, along with IHA’s ongoing advocacy to create fairer payment methodologies from Medicare and Medicaid, help ensure the financial stability of hospitals, making it possible for them to provide the services and programs most needed by their communities.