Scripps Health Devotes $311 Million to Community Benefit Programs in Fiscal Year 2009

SAN DIEGO – Scripps Health devoted $311 million to local community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2009, according to the non-profit health system’s recently released 2010 Community Benefit Plan and Report. A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit.

While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts went toward uncompensated care ($256 million), Scripps also invested in programs to train new physicians, provide health screenings for the underserved, offer wellness services for seniors, deliver care to the homeless and address other important community needs.

“Our community benefit programs show the Scripps’ mission in action through the efforts of our employees, physicians and volunteers, who provide the charity care and run the programs and services that these numbers represent,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “In 2009, severe economic conditions affected all sectors and organizations, including health care. Despite that, Scripps continued to fully take on the challenge of meeting the health care needs of our community, including the growing number of individuals and families without the ability to pay for critical health services.”

The 2009 contributions represent an increase of more than 8 percent from fiscal year 2008. Scripps delivers its community benefit activities in four areas: uncompensated care, professional education and health research, community building activities and community health services.

Uncompensated care represented the largest portion of Scripps’ community benefit contributions in 2009, totaling $255.6 million. Uncompensated care includes three elements: under-reimbursed care (under-payment from third-party payers, which accounted for $197.8 million); charity care (care for those who don’t qualify for government payer programs and don’t have commercial insurance, which totaled $41.5 million); and bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care, which accounted for $16.2 million). Scripps also contributed funds to meet the post-discharge needs of patients.

Scripps also invested $39.2 million in professional education and health research in fiscal year 2009, $16.4 million of which went toward Scripps’ graduate medical education (GME) programs at Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego and Chula Vista campuses and the GME program at Scripps Clinic and Scripps Green Hospital. Scripps also provided a wide array of educational and training support to its affiliated physicians, nurses and other care givers, as well as the community at large.

In addition, Scripps invested $15.7 million in community health services, including prevention, education and wellness programs, as well as screenings and support groups. Key activities included childhood obesity and diabetes prevention programs for underserved communities; reconstructive surgeries to children in need; cancer screenings and imaging services to low-income residents; health services to the homeless; and a health and wellness program for seniors.

In addition to the financial community benefit contributions made during fiscal year 2009, Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered more than 58,000 hours of their personal time to support Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs.

Scripps Health’s 2010 Community Benefit Plan & Report was developed in response to Senate Bill 697, passed in 1994, requiring the state’s community, private not-for-profit hospitals to document the full range of community benefits they provide on an annual basis. Scripps has taken this legislative requirement a step further by incorporating community benefit activities conducted from throughout the system, including Scripps’ five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, wellness centers and clinics. Scripps’ community benefit programs and services include activities that provide benefit to the community over and above the standard practices of care.

ABOUT SCRIPPS HEALTH

Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2.2 billion, private not-for-profit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,500 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and ambulatory care network of physician offices and 19 outpatient centers and clinics.

Scripps is recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and is at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.