Scripps Invests $63.6 Million into Community Benefits in Central San Diego

Scripps Mercy San Diego’s contributions include $22.5 million in charity care in fiscal year 2013

Scripps Health, through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, invested $63.7 million into community benefit programs in central San Diego during fiscal year 2013, serving some of the neediest populations in the area, according to a recently released report.

While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts in central San Diego went toward uncompensated care ($44.9 million), Scripps also invested in training for new physicians, health screenings for underserved populations, wellness services, and other important community needs.

“Scripps is proud to continue its legacy of making a vital and measurable difference in our community,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “We commend our physicians, employees and volunteers for going well beyond the call of duty in providing charity care, educational programs, health screenings and other much-needed services.”

Scripps cares for some of the neediest people in San Diego County, often at low to no cost. In 2013, Scripps provided hospital services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patient population. The nonprofit health system recently released its 2014 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2013 (October 2012 through September 2013). A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit.

Across San Diego County, Scripps Health invested $355 million into community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2013. Community benefit programs and services accounted for nearly 15 percent of the health system’s operating expenses. Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses in San Diego and Chula Vista accounted for more than two-thirds of the $48.6 million Scripps Health devoted to charity care.

Meeting Central San Diego’s community health needs
At Scripps Mercy San Diego, uncompensated care for 2013 included $18.8 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs); $22.47 million in charity care (for people without insurance who did not qualify for government assistance); $7.9 million in subsidized health services and $3.66 million in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care).

Scripps also invested $8 million in professional education and health research at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, including graduate medical education training. It devoted $2.8 million into community health services and programs, including the City Heights Wellness Center and the Mercy Outreach Surgical Team, as well as prevention and wellness events.

Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 976 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of $42,913 in volunteer labor.

Scripps collaborates with other health systems, community groups and government agencies as well as business and grassroots organizations to serve the greatest patient population needs and prioritize investments in the health and well-being of the community.

The 2014 Community Benefit Report is the system’s annual response to Senate Bill 697, a 1994 state law that requires private, nonprofit hospitals to document the full range of community benefits they provide on a yearly basis. Scripps takes this legislative requirement a step further by incorporating community benefit activities from throughout the system, including Scripps’ five acute-care hospital campuses, home health services, wellness centers and clinics.

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Leonel Sanchez
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