Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista Devotes $28.6 Million to Community Benefit Programs in 2008

CHULA VISTA – Scripps Mercy Hospital devoted $28.6 million to local community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2008, according to the non-profit hospital campus’ recently released 2009 Community Benefit Plan & Report.

While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts went toward uncompensated care, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista also invested in programs to train new physicians, for San Diego’s border region, improve residents’ access to preventive health services, provide health screening services to local senior citizens and offer breast cancer education and early detection programs to underserved women.

“Scripps is proud of our commitment to enhance the collective health and well being of San Diego’s communities,” said Tom Gammiere, the hospital’s chief executive. “These community benefit programs are real-life examples of Scripps Mercy’s 119-year legacy and charitable mission. In particular, our programs serve to support and protect vulnerable or disadvantaged populations, which in turn helps raise the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

Uncompensated care represented the largest portion of Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista’s community benefit contributions in the South County in 2008, totaling $27.5 million. Uncompensated care includes four elements: under-reimbursed care (under-payment from third-party payers, which accounted for $13.6 million); charity care (care for those who don’t qualify for government payer programs and don’t have commercial insurance, which totaled $6.1 million); bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care, which accounted for $4.6 million); and emergency room coverage (costs paid by Scripps to ensure physicians are on call, which totaled $3.1 million). Scripps also contributed funds to meet the post-discharge needs of patients.

Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista also invested $560,000 in professional education and research activities in Chula Vista during fiscal year 2008, the majority of which was devoted to the hospital’s Family Practice Residency Program. This community-based program trains family practice physicians to provide comprehensive primary medical care to patients in under served communities.

Additionally, Scripps invested $571,000 toward community-based health improvement activities in Chula Vista, including enhanced access to preventive services and health education. Scripps presented health education courses to more than 7,360 people at the Scripps Well Being Center in Chula Vista and provided a variety of health screenings and services to more than 1,400 seniors in the area. Through the Scripps Women in Action Breast Health Outreach and Education Program, Scripps provided education and early detection services to more than 7,100 under served women. Scripps also promoted health careersand continuing education though a variety of outreach programs.

In addition to the financial community benefit contributions made during fiscal year 2008, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista employees and affiliated physicians donated approximately 685 hours of volunteer time to support Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs. The overall 2008 contributions by Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista represent an increase of approximately 15 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 annually. 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 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 in San Diego and Chula Vista, 10 Scripps Clinic locations, nine Scripps Coastal Medical Center locations, Scripps Home Health Care and Scripps Clinical Research.

Contact: Jaime Szefc

Phone: 858-678-7348

Cell: 858-356-7471

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