Scripps Health invested $369 million into community benefit programs that served some of the neediest populations in San Diego County during fiscal year 2016. Community benefit programs accounted for 13 percent of the nonprofit health system’s operating expenses.
Scripps recently released its 2017 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2016 (October 2015 through September 2016). A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit.
Scripps Health cares for some of the neediest people in San Diego County, often at low or no cost. In fiscal year 2016, Scripps provided hospital services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patient population.
Scripps also invested in training new physicians, health screenings for underserved populations, and care for homeless people, as well as working to meet other important community needs through its network of hospitals and clinics across the region.
“We continue to build on our rich history of community service,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “The programs and services listed in our annual Community Benefit report show our ongoing commitment to 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 at $335.1 million in fiscal 2016.
Uncompensated care included:
• $304.9 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs)
• $23.8 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 57 percent of the total.
• $6.3 million in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care)
Scripps invested $9.7 million into community improvement programs, including:
• $2.7 million for community health improvement services, and cash and in-kind contributions in support of prevention and wellness programs such as cardiac screenings, diabetes education, cancer support groups and health and wellness events
• $5.5 million in subsidized health services
• $1.5 million in support of community building activities
Scripps invested $24.2 million in professional education and health research, including:
• $20.9 million for graduate medical education programs at Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and the Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program
• $3.3 million for health research, primarily at Scripps Clinical Research Services, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, Scripps Genomic Medicine and Scripps Translational Science Institute
Scripps employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 27,903 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of more than $1.3 million 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, government agencies, business and grassroots organizations to serve the greatest patient population needs and prioritize investments in the health and well-being of the community.
The 2017 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.