Total Community Benefits Were 13.8% of Total Hospital Expenses in 2017
July 15, 2020 - All hospitals regardless of ownership provide a comprehensive range of benefits and essential services to their communities. New analysis prepared and released today by the American Hospital Association (AHA) shows that tax-exempt hospitals provided $100 billion in total benefits to their communities in 2017 alone, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available. The analysis also shows that tax-exempt hospitals' and health systems' total community benefits were 13.8 percent of their total expenses in 2017. Approximately half of this total was attributed to expenditures for financial assistance for patients and absorbing losses from Medicaid and other means-tested government program underpayments.
"As we have dramatically seen over the first half of this year, all of America's hospitals and health systems are there for patients and communities in times of crisis. But hospitals and health systems of all sizes and types also deliver a wide range of benefits, activities, services and programs on a daily basis to meet the varied needs of their patients and communities," said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. "This new analysis shows that improving the health of their communities remains at the heart of the mission of hospitals and health systems."
In return for being exempt from federal taxes, non-profit hospitals are required to serve their communities, and to seek input from members of the community, in particular, medically underserved, low-income and minority populations. Hospitals report publicly on community benefit activities, which include financial assistance for those in need, as well as a wide range of programs and services designed to meet the current and future health needs of all they serve. In addition, hospitals and health systems support emergency preparedness for all types of disasters; education, research and training for the next generation of caregivers; clinics for underserved communities; as well as a range of tailored programs aimed at keeping their communities healthy and productive.
For the full analysis, please visit the AHA website HERE.