Scripps Health, through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and Mercy Clinic, invested $62.5 million into community benefit programs in central San Diego during fiscal year 2016, serving some of the neediest populations in the area.
The nonprofit health system recently released its 2017 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for fiscal year 2016 (October 2015 through September 2016). Across San Diego County, Scripps invested $369 million into community benefit programs. A copy of the report is available online at www.scripps.org/communitybenefit
Scripps cares for some of the most vulnerable people in the region, often at low to no cost. In fiscal year 2016, Scripps provided services to one-quarter of the county’s uninsured patients.
While the largest portion of its community benefit efforts in the region went toward uncompensated care, Scripps also invested in training for new physicians, screenings, health education, support groups, and other community needs through Scripps Mercy San Diego.
“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.”
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 share of Scripps’ community benefit efforts throughout San Diego County, more than $335 million in fiscal 2016.
In central San Diego, uncompensated care totaled $52.4 million including:
• $36.8 million in under-reimbursed care (underpayment from Medi-Cal, Medicare and other government programs).
• $9.6 million charity care (for people without insurance who did not qualify for government assistance).
• More than $403,000 in bad debt (failure to pay by patients whose health care was not classified as charity care).
• $5.5 million in subsidized health services.
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 $660,000 to community health services such as health screenings, health education, support groups and health fairs, and $303,488 to community building activities such as the in-lieu-of funds program, which helps low-income patients with post-discharge needs, including board, medications and transportation.
Scripps Health employees and affiliated physicians collectively volunteered 16,102 hours in support of Scripps-sponsored community benefit programs, the equivalent of about $770,480 in volunteer labor. Volunteer hours are mentioned in the report but are not part of the community benefit total.
Meeting community needs throughout 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 annually. 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.