San Diego – Scripps Health devoted $338 million to local community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2010, an increase of almost 9 percent over 2009 levels.
Scripps provides hospital services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patient population. Of this, Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego and Chula Vista campuses provide 69 percent of the charity care within the Scripps system.
In addition to supporting the growing need to fund low- and no-cost health care services, Scripps invested in programs to train new physicians, provide health screenings for the underserved, offer wellness services for seniors, deliver care to the homeless and address other important community needs. The non-profit health system recently released its 2011 Community Benefit Plan and Report detailing its community benefit activities.
A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit.
“We recognize that improving the community’s health happens both within and outside the physical walls of our health care facilities,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “Our community benefit programs show the Scripps mission in action through the efforts of our employees, physicians and volunteers, who provide the charity care and run the educational programs and health screening services our communities need.”
Uncompensated care represented the largest portion of Scripps’ community benefit contributions in 2010, totaling more than $286 million. Uncompensated care includes three elements: under-reimbursed care (under-payment from third-party payers, which accounted for $228.1 million; charity care (care for those who do not qualify for government payer programs and do not have commercial insurance, which totaled $43.4 million); and bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care, which accounted for $14.7 million).
Scripps also invested $16.7 million in community health services to help improve the health of the community overall, including prevention and wellness programs such as screenings, health education, support groups and health fairs. Key activities included childhood obesity and diabetes prevention programs for underserved communities, reconstructive surgeries to children in need, cancer screenings and imaging services to low-income residents, health services to the homeless, and a health and wellness program for seniors.
Quality health care is highly dependent upon health education systems and medical research programs. Scripps invested $34.8 million in professional training programs and clinical research to enhance service delivery and treatment practices for San Diego County in fiscal year 2010. Each year, Scripps allocates resources to the advancement of health care services through graduate medical education, nursing resource development and other health care professional education.
Medical research plays an important role in improving the community’s overall health. In fiscal year 2010, $18.9 million went toward health research, and $13.3 million helped fund Scripps graduate medical education programs at Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego and Chula Vista campuses, Scripps Clinic and Scripps Green Hospital.
In addition to the financial community benefit contributions made during fiscal year 2010, Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered more than 22,452 hours of their personal time to support Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs. This is equivalent to more than $955,000; which is reported separately from the Scripps FY10 community benefit programs and services total.
Scripps Health’s 2011 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 $2.3 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,500 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 23 outpatient centers and clinics.
Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health and graduate medical education. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges.