University of Iowa Health Care provided more than $216 million in community benefits to Iowa communities in FY13, according to the most recent annual assessment of community benefit program and services recently reported to the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA).
Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs and meet at least one of these objectives:
- Improve access to health care services
- Enhance population health
- Advance increased general knowledge
- Relieve or reduce the burden of government to improve health
The community benefit data is submitted to IHA as part of a larger effort to report services that exceed mission-driven patient care activities and provide a measurable increase in health care access and the availability of health care resources. All 118 of Iowa’s hospitals contribute annually to the IHA report.
Community Health Improvement Services – $14,475,437
These activities are carried out to improve community health, extend beyond patient care activities and are usually subsidized by the health care organization. Such services do not generate patient care bills although they may involve a nominal fee.
Health Professions Education – $14,663,088
This category includes educational programs for physicians, interns and residents, medical students, nurses and nursing students, pastoral care trainees, and other health professionals when that education is necessary for a degree, certificate, or training that is required by state law, accrediting body or health profession society.
Subsidized Health Services – $875,275
Subsidized health services are clinical programs that are provided despite a financial loss so significant that negative margins remain after removing the effects of charity care, bad debt, and Medicaid shortfalls. Nevertheless, the service is provided because it meets an identified community need and if no longer offered, it would either be unavailable in the area or fall to the responsibility of government or another not-for-profit organization to provide.
Research – $47,082,108
Research includes clinical and community health research, as well as studies on health care delivery that are generalizable, shared with the public and funded by the government or a tax-exempt entity (including the organization itself). Do not count research where findings are used only internally or are proprietary. Count the total cost of the qualifying research programs, including direct and indirect costs. Grant funding does not need to be accounted for as offsetting revenue but should be tracked for budget and planning purposes.
Financial and In-Kind Contributions – $233,055
This category includes funds and in-kind services donated to community organizations or to the community at large for a community benefit purpose. In-kind services include hours contributed by staff to the community while on health care organization work time, the cost of meeting space provide to community groups and the donations of food, equipment, and supplies.
Community Building Activities – $227,038
Community-building activities improve the community’s health and safety by addressing the root causes of health problems, such as poverty, homelessness, and environmental hazards. These activities strengthen the community’s capacity to promote the health and well-being of its residents by offering the expertise and resources of the health care organization. Costs for these activities include cash and in-kind donations and expenses for the development of a variety of community-building programs and partnerships.
Community Benefit Operations – $29,148
Community benefit operations include costs associated with assigned staff and community health needs and/or assets assessment, as well as other costs associated with community benefit strategy and operations.
Financial Assistance – $14,416,942
Financial assistance is free or discounted health services provided to persons who cannot afford to pay and who meet the eligibility criteria of the organization’s financial assistance policy. Financial assistance is reported in terms of costs, not charges.
Government-Sponsored Health Care – $45,444,679
Government-sponsored (Medicaid) means tested health care community benefit includes unpaid costs of public programs for low-income persons – the shortfall created when a facility receives payments that are less than the cost of caring for public program beneficiaries. This payment shortfall is not the same as a contractual allowance, which is the full difference between charges and government payments.
Unpaid Cost of Medicare – $79,048,815
Care for the elderly not reimbursed by Medicare
Total FY13 Community Benefits Contribution – $216,495,585
635,395 persons served through community service programs