LA JOLLA – Three La Jolla-based Scripps Health institutions — Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic — combined to contribute $132.5 million to local community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2008, according to their recently released 2009 Community Benefit Plan & Report.
While the largest portion of the community benefit efforts went toward uncompensated care, the three organizations also invested in a wide variety of programs to train new physicians, deliver care to the homeless, provide safety education programs for older adults, offer cardiac risk screenings and lead CPR training classes, among many other activities.
“We’ve always been committed to making a difference in the lives of the people of this community by delivering excellent patient care,” said Robin Brown, chief executive of Scripps Green Hospital. “Our investment in the community benefit programs underscores that commitment to go beyond the patient’s bedside and out into the neighborhoods we serve.”
Uncompensated care represented the largest portion of community benefit contributions in 2008 by the three organizations, which collectively totaled $128.3 million. Uncompensated care includes four elements: under-reimbursed care (under-payment from third-party payers, which accounted for $110.2 million); charity care (care for those who don’t qualify for government payer programs and don’t have commercial insurance, which totaled $9.1 million); bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care, which accounted for $5.2 million); and emergency room coverage for Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla (costs paid by Scripps to ensure physicians are on call, which totaled $3.7 million). Collectively the three institutions also contributed funds to meet the post-discharge needs of patients.
“We respond to the health care needs of San Diego by not only providing high-quality medical care, but also by committing resources year after year to a variety of programs and services that benefit the community through education, prevention and support,” said Gary G. Fybel, FACHE, chief executive of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
These three institutions also invested $3.4 million in professional education and research activities, with a significant contribution going toward the graduate medical education (GME) program at Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic. This program focuses on physician training and clinical research, with 25 residents and 36 fellows. The program also gives back to the community by staffing evening clinics at St. Vincent de Paul Village and the Mid-City Community Clinic, where Scripps residents and staff annually provide medical care to approximately 1,800 of the region’s most vulnerable residents.
Additionally, the three organizations invested $775,000 toward a wide range of community-based health improvement activities. These included childbirth preparation classes for low-income women; parenting programs; cancer prevention and treatment programs provided by the Scripps Polster Breast Care Center; weekly CPR training courses at Well Being Centers; various substance abuse prevention and treatment programs; and specialty medicine training to students attending the Fiji School of Medicine.
In addition to the financial community benefit contributions made during fiscal year 2008, employees and physicians affiliated with these three organizations collectively volunteered more than 10,300 hours of their personal time to support Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs. Overall, the 2008 contributions of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic represent an increase of approximately 6 percent from fiscal year 2007.
Scripps Health’s 2009 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.