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.