Mile Bluff provides over $7 million of community benefits

The work of Wisconsin hospitals reaches far beyond medical center walls. To help meet critical healthcare needs, hospitals fund neighborhood health centers, ensure citizens can purchase their medication, help patients find transportation, and much more. These contributions are captured in the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) annual community benefits report.

The 2018 report highlights the programs, services and activities across the state that hospitals contributed for free during the 2017 fiscal year. It also includes the financial assistance provided to patients to ensure everyone can afford the treatment they need and deserve. In total, Wisconsin hospitals provided nearly $1.8 billion in community benefits and charity care across the state - which is nearly $5 million every day.

“Part of being a non-profit organization is giving back to the community simply because it’s the right thing to do,” explained Mile Bluff’s President/CEO James O’Keefe. “Our medical center exists to improve the health and wellness of the region; and providing community benefits is one way we carry out that mission.”

In the 2017 fiscal year, Mile Bluff reported helping nearly 4,000 individuals and providing over $7 million in community benefits. This total includes charity care, donations, community building activities, health improvement services, unpaid cost of Medicaid, and more.

“Wisconsin hospitals and health systems help address the critical, unmet healthcare needs of their neighbors, friends and community, which ultimately leads to a healthier state overall,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA President and CEO. “Many of these services would not be possible without the support of Wisconsin hospitals and the dedicated healthcare professionals who donate their time. Simply put, our hospitals are Wisconsin’s healthcare safety net.”

Hospitals and health systems ensure patients receive the care and treatment they need. They do this even when patients do not have the ability to pay and when they require emergency care they cannot otherwise afford. Hospitals also do this knowing that they will not receive adequate reimbursement from the state Medicaid and federal Medicare programs for its services. In fiscal year 2017, Wisconsin hospitals lost nearly $1.1 billion in caring for 295,585 patients in the Medicaid program, and another $2.1 billion providing healthcare for Medicare patients. In reimbursing approximately 65 percent of the cost for providing care, the Wisconsin Medicaid program is second worst in the country for reimbursing Medicaid patient expenses. The federal Medicare reimbursement rate is only slightly better, covering about 78 percent of the cost of care.

In reporting annual community benefits, WHA follows conservative community benefit guidelines, which exclude Medicare shortfalls and bad debt expense from the calculation. If WHA followed the IRS Schedule H (Form 990) community benefits reporting guidelines, which does include Medicare shortfalls and bad debt, the community benefits and charity care figure for Wisconsin hospitals would be closer to $4.1 billion.

Mile Bluff Medical Center is committed to providing compassionate and progressive care, improving the health and wellness of the community, and going beyond expectations today and always. The medical center will continue to meet the healthcare needs of the region through community benefits.