ENCINITAS – Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas devoted approximately $35.4 million to local community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2008, according to the non-profit hospital’s recently released 2009 Community Benefit Plan & Report.
While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts went toward uncompensated care, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas also invested in a wide range of local programs to enhance educational opportunities for students, administer influenza vaccines to high-risk populations, educate families on important health topics and offer rehabilitation services to residents with neurological conditions.
“Scripps is proud of our commitment to help enhance the health and well being of North County’s communities,” said Carl Etter, the hospital’s chief executive. “These community benefit programs are real-life examples of Scripps’ 85-year legacy and charitable mission. Scripps believes strongly in delivering the best possible patient care in our hospitals and in our communities.”
Uncompensated care represented the largest portion of community benefit contributions by Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas in 2008, totaling approximately $34.8 million. Uncompensated care includes four elements: under-reimbursed care (under-payment from third-party payers, which accounted for $27.4 million); charity care (care for those who don’t qualify for government payer programs and don’t have commercial insurance, which totaled $3.3 million); bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care, which accounted for $2 million); and emergency room coverage (costs paid by Scripps to ensure physicians are on call, which totaled $2 million). Scripps also contributed funds to meet the post-discharge needs of patients.
In addition, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas invested approximately $522,000 in community-based health improvement activities, including prevention and wellness programs such as screenings, health education, support groups and health fairs. Scripps Encinitas provided more than 50 health education classes and seminars focused on key health topics such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and skin cancer, and also provided health information and screening services at 20 community events. Additionally the Scripps Transition After Rehabilitation Treatment (START) program helped more than 1,000 people in the north coastal region who had suffered strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions. Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas also led a collaborative effort to administer 2,800 doses of influenza vaccines to high-risk populations throughout San Diego County.
Additionally, Scripps Encinitas contributed approximately $68,000 toward professional education activities and clinical research in Encinitas during fiscal year 2008. This included the Exploratory Work Experience Education program, a partnership between Scripps and the San Dieguito High School District and Carlsbad High School, which gave students the opportunity to observe professionals working in the health care environment.
In addition to the financial community benefit contributions made during fiscal year 2008, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas employees and affiliated physicians donated approximately 1,250 hours of volunteer time to support Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs. The hospital’s overall 2008 contributions represent an increase of approximately 12 percent from fiscal year 2007, when it invested $31.1 million in community benefit programs.
Scripps Health’s 2008 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.
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,700 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers. Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education. In 2008, Scripps committed more than $150 million in capital and facility improvements across the San Diego region while providing significant charity care to the community – more than $268 million in uncompensated care in 2008. Scripps Health Foundation generated $46 million in charitable donations in 2008 to support the Scripps mission.
Scripps Health includes: Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, two Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses, 10 Scripps Clinic locations, nine Scripps Coastal Medical Center locations, Scripps Home Health Care and Scripps Clinical Research.