Scripps Invests Close to $354 Million Into Community Benefit Services

Nearly $37 million devoted to charity care in San Diego region in FY 2015

Scripps Health San Diego Invests Close to $354 Million into Community Benefit Services

Scripps Health invested $353.6 million into community benefit programs that served some of the neediest populations in San Diego County during fiscal year 2015, according to a recently released report. Community benefit programs accounted for 13 percent of the system’s operating expenses.

The nonprofit health system recently released its Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2015 (October 2014 through September 2015). A copy of the report is available online at

Scripps cares for some of the neediest people in San Diego County, often at low to no cost. In fiscal year 2015, Scripps provided hospital services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patient population.

Scripps also invested in training for new physicians, health screenings for underserved populations, care for homeless people and worked to meet other important community needs through its five hospital campuses across the region.

“Our commitment to the San Diego community continues as strong as ever with thousands of employees, physicians and volunteers working together to meet our patients’ needs,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “Scripps is proud to continue our legacy of making a vital and measurable difference in the communities that we serve.”

Community benefit services

Scripps divides community benefit services into three categories: uncompensated health care, community health improvement services and professional education and health research.

Uncompensated care accounted for the largest portion of Scripps’ community benefit efforts throughout San Diego County, more than $316 million in fiscal 2015.
Uncompensated care included:

  • $269.5 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs)
  • $36.9 million in charity care (for people without insurance who did not qualify for government assistance).Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses in San Diego and Chula Vista accounted for 59 percent of the total.
  • $9.6 million in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care).

Scripps invested $11.4 million into community improvement programs, including:

Scripps invested more than $26 million in professional education and health research, including:

  • $14.3 million for graduate medical education programs at Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and the Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program.
  • $5.3 million for health research, primarily at Scripps Clinical Research Services, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, Scripps Genomic Medicine and Scripps Translational Science Institute.
  • $6.5 million for Scripps professional education.

Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 7,737 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of more than $364,000 in volunteer labor. (Volunteer hours are mentioned in the report but are not included in the community benefit total.)

Prioritizing health needs

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 2016 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, 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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