Subsidized Health Services

These are negative-margin services provided despite a financial loss. Subsidized services are provided because they meet a community need that no one else provides.

The total expense for subsidized health services for FY16 was $5,524,807. This includes Scripps inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services and Mercy Clinic. To learn more, view the 2017 Community Benefit Report. (PDF, 11 MB)

Caring for those in need

Read the following stories to learn more about the steps Scripps is taking to keep the community healthy:

Mercy Clinic continues Scripps tradition of compassionate care

Mercy Clinic continues Scripps tradition of compassionate care

Founded in 1944 and adopted by the Sisters of Mercy in 1961, Mercy Clinic of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, is a primary care clinic established to care for San Diego’s working and disabled poor.

A full-time clinic staff of nurses and other personnel work closely with physicians from Scripps Mercy Hospital to treat more than one thousand patients each month — most of whom are low-income, medically underserved adults and seniors. These patients also have access to specialty health care through Scripps Mercy Hospital. 

An important part of the clinic’s effort is focused on management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes care. In 2016, the clinic obtained a hemoglobin A1c 

(a marker of diabetic control) point-of-care test option for patients who are less compliant in self-testing their blood glucose levels. 

In fiscal year 2016, the clinic provided 10,351 patient visits for primary and subspecialty care. Each year, 90 percent of patient visits are paid through Medi-Cal, Medicare or some other insurance plan. The remaining 10 percent pay what, and if, they can. Mercy Clinic is broadening its managed Medi-Cal contracts in order to better serve the community’s underserved patients.

The clinic also continues to strengthen its interdisciplinary teamwork, and clinic nurses are expanding their roles to include care management. Moreover, in 2017, Mercy Clinic will be first in the Scripps Mercy system to be part of the Epic electronic health records roll-out, which will further improve management of care. 

As an integral part of treating patients, Mercy Clinic serves as a training ground for nearly 100 residents each year from the Scripps Mercy Hospital graduate medical education program, as well as those from Family Health Centers, the U.S. Navy and University of California, San Diego.

A-Visions Program helps patients find care and employment

In 1996, Brett F. was an art major at University of California, San Diego. Then the voices started. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he struggled for years to come to terms with his illness.

“I didn’t accept that I was ill for several years,” Brett says.

Brett first came to Scripps Mercy Hospital during a period of crisis and progressed from inpatient to outpatient care. Today, however, he isn’t at Mercy as a patient. Instead, Brett is hard at work providing clerical support within the hospital to speed up the hospital’s billing and reimbursement.

A-Visions, an innovative and nationally recognized work program, was launched in 2002 by Jerry Gold, PhD. Along with therapy, A-Visions empowers people like Brett to secure volunteer or paid employment within Scripps.

A vision for success

Kevin Wilson, the program lead, has been with A-Visions since its inception and is the participants’ go-to resource for guidance, coaching and successes through the years.

“This program is client-focused and structured,” Kevin explains. “It requires a consistent level of commitment and discipline from candidates.” After initial preparation and coaching that can last several months, program participants begin working in volunteer roles.

Rose “Posey” Hagarman, who has lived with major depression most of her life, nevertheless became a master’s-prepared surgical ICU nurse.

“I was devastated when I couldn’t continue that job after a stroke,” Posey says. “Through the years I tried a lot of different things that didn’t work. And then, there was this beautiful program called A-Visions. Some people are just dropped onto the street after their initial treatment. But here, they lift you up.”

How the program works

Paid A-Visions candidates typically limit their work to eight hours per week, which allows them to maintain their disability benefits, medications and medical care that enable them to work.

“Some candidates have lengthy commutes to work,” Kevin reveals. “That’s how much they value what they do.”

“A-Visions has been a joy for me,” says Janice Shivers, whose major depression has waxed and waned throughout her life. “I work part-time in health information, and I love what I do. I just opened a new bank account with my paycheck, and the teller said, ‘Oh, I love Scripps.’ It makes me feel so good to know that I’m a part of this organization. I’ve had my job for four years — the longest I’ve ever worked any one place.”