Scripps Invests $50.4 Million Into Community Benefits in Central San Diego

Scripps Mercy San Diego contributed about $15 million in charity care in FY '15

Scripps Physician  and Patient

Scripps Health, through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego invested more than $50.4 million into community benefit programs in central San Diego during fiscal year 2015, serving some of the neediest populations in the area.

The nonprofit health system recently released its 2016 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2015 (October 2014 through September 2015). Across San Diego County, Scripps Health invested $353.6 million into community benefit programs. 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.

While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts in central San Diego went toward uncompensated care, Scripps also invested in training for new physicians, health screenings, health education, support groups, and other important community needs through Scripps Mercy San Diego.

“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.”

Meeting community needs in Central San Diego

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.

In central San Diego, uncompensated care totaled $38.7 million including:

  • $15.8 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs).
  • Nearly $15 million in charity care (for people without insurance who did not qualify for government assistance). Scripps Mercy San Diego and Scripps Mercy Chula Vista accounted for 59 percent of the $36.9 million that Scripps spent in charity care.
  • More than $1.4 million in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care).
  • Close to $6.5 million in subsidized health services.

Scripps also invested $10.2 million in professional education and health research at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, including Graduate Medical Education (GME). It devoted more than $1.1 million into community health services, including the Scripps City Heights Wellness Center, the Mercy Outreach Surgical Team and prevention and wellness programs.

Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 1,961 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of about $92,000 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

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 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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