UH News

University Hospitals Announces Community Benefit Contributions for 2012 Totaled a Record $273 Million

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CLEVELAND – University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland announces record investment in Community Benefit programs totaling $273 million in 2012, up more than $100 million since 2007. This significant contribution represents 12.41 percent of the health system’s total operating expenses in 2012, which is above the national average of 8.4 percent, according to the most recent data (2009) published by the American Hospital Association.

UH has invested more than $1.2 billion in Community Benefit expenditures since 2008. “Community Benefit” includes programs designed to address identified community needs, such as charity care, improving access to health services, enhancing public health, advancing medical knowledge through clinical research and teaching the next generation of health professionals. UH’s total Community Benefit spending includes: charity care ($53 million), community health improvement services, programs and support ($43 million), Medicaid shortfall ($90 million), research ($49 million), and education and training ($50 million). These figures are reduced by $12 million received through the Hospital Care Assurance Program for a net Community Benefit of $273 million.

“Northeast Ohio has turned to University Hospitals for help in times of need for nearly 150 years. Now, today and every day, UH helps care for the health needs of the Northeast Ohio communities we serve,” says Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO of UH. “University Hospitals is investing more personnel, time and money than ever into programs and activities that benefit our entire community. We’re helping our neighbors stay healthy, reducing health care disparities, and preparing tomorrow’s physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.”

UH has completed a Community Health Needs Assessments for each of its hospitals, which are posted on its website at www.uhhospitals.org/about/community-benefit/community-health-needs-assessment. UH is using the Community Health Needs Assessments to help focus its efforts in the communities that it serves by developing and modifying wellness and prevention programs to address certain health needs.

UH’s Community Health Needs Assessment responded to a wide number of needs throughout Northeast Ohio and put programs in place that are consistent with the health system’s mission in order to help reduce these health issues. For example, UH collaborates with The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland on the Stay Well Project, which connects UH doctors and other health care professionals with Cleveland-area residents. This pilot program began in April 2012 and provides much needed health education and health screenings, and helps participants who need health care connect to a medical home. Health education topics range from diabetes and hypertension to mental health and medication management. Stay Well emphasizes diet and lifestyle as important factors in managing and preventing disease. This health outreach program is available at several hunger centers every month.

Among the other initiatives responding to UH’s Community Health Needs Assessment are UH’s programs improving infant and maternal care. To that end, UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital is expanding and building upon its successful Centering Pregnancy program, an innovative group-focused prenatal care approach aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes. The program targets at-risk mothers ages 14 – 25, who are least likely to receive consistent prenatal care and have the greatest likelihood of adverse pregnancy outcomes. More than 600 women have participated in the program since its inception in 2010 and expansion in 2012 to UH Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, Ohio.

The program has shown favorable results. The number of premature babies delivered by participants in this group model of prenatal care is 30 percent lower than the rate for women who receive traditional care at UH MacDonald Women’s Health Clinic. Further, women in the program gave birth to 27 percent fewer babies with a low birth weight. In addition to successful pregnancy outcomes, the program helps young pregnant women meet their emotional, social and educational needs. Within a cohesive group setting, women participate in facilitated discussions and develop a support network with other group members.

Another example of Community Benefit is the University Hospitals EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute’s focus on training first responders around Northeast Ohio to help patients in need of medical care. In 2012, the institute trained more than 24,000 area firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and hospital employees. The rigorous program prepares first responders in all aspects of emergency medical care including aggressive state-of-the-art care for heart attack victims.

Another important aspect of UH’s community benefit program is educating the next generation of health professionals. Each year, nearly 2,000 nursing students from 70 nursing schools across the nation receive clinical training at UH hospitals and outpatient facilities. Along with future nurses, UH clinicians educate more than 900 aspiring doctors and hundreds of future allied-health professionals yearly. This community service has never been more vital: A recent study predicts the United States will need 5.6 million more health care workers by 2020.

Since the health system’s founding in 1866, UH has operated by the belief that the inability to afford quality health care should never prevent people from receiving it. In 2012, UH provided a record $53 million in unreimbursed charitable care to uninsured and financially disadvantaged patients. Since 2008, UH has increased its charity care and Medicaid shortfall by more than $42 million.

To view UH’s 2012 Community Benefit report go to: www.uhhospitals.org/CommunityBenefit

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