Central San Diego Receives $78.9 Million in Community Benefits from Scripps

Scripps Mercy's total includes $21 million in charity care last fiscal year


Scripps Health, through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, invested $78.9 million into community benefit programs in central San Diego during fiscal year 2014, serving some of the neediest populations in the area.

The nonprofit health system recently released its 2015 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2014 (October 2013 through September 2014). A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit (PDF, 8.4 MB)

Scripps cares for some of the most vulnerable people in San Diego County, often at low to no cost to them. While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts in Central San Diego went toward uncompensated care ($59.7 million), Scripps also invested in training for new physicians, health screenings for underserved populations, wellness services and other important community needs through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego in Hillcrest.

“Scripps is proud to continue its strong commitment to the San Diego community,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “Today, more than 16,000 employees, physicians and volunteers continue to build on our rich history and keep the spirit of community service alive by going well beyond the call of duty in providing charity care, educational programs, health screenings and other much-needed services.”

Meeting community needs in Central San Diego

At Scripps Mercy San Diego, uncompensated care for 2014 included $35.3 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs); $21.46 million in charity care (for people without insurance who did not qualify for government assistance); and $2.9 million in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care).

Scripps also invested $9.1 million in professional education and health research at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, including graduate medical education training. It devoted more than $3.3 million to community health services and community building programs, including the City Heights Wellness Center and the Mercy Outreach Surgical Team, as well as prevention and wellness events.

Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 227 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of about $10,500 in volunteer labor. (Volunteer hours are mentioned in the report but are not part of the community benefit total.)

Meeting community needs in San Diego County

Across the county, Scripps Health invested $373 million into community benefit programs and services during fiscal year 2014. These programs and services accounted for 15.5 percent of the health system’s operating expenses. Scripps provided hospital services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patients. Scripps Mercy San Diego and Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista accounted for more than two-thirds of Scripps’ charity care.

Scripps collaborates with other health systems, community groups and government agencies as well as business and grassroots organizations to serve the greatest patient population needs and prioritize investments in the health and well-being of the community.

The 2015 Community Benefit Report is the system’s annual response to Senate Bill 697, a 1994 state law that requires private, nonprofit hospitals to document the full range of community benefits they provide on a yearly basis. Scripps takes this legislative requirement a step further by incorporating community benefit activities from throughout the system, including Scripps’ five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, hospice care, wellness centers and clinics.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

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Leonel Sanchez

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