Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association Releases 2020 Community Benefit Report
January 27, 2020
Annual Report Shows Virginia Hospitals and Health Systems Provided $3.34 Billion in Community Benefit to the Commonwealth in 2018 Through Free and Discounted Care, Support for Community Programs, Local Investments, Taxes, and More
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia hospitals and health systems provided $3.34 billion in community support to the Commonwealth in 2018, according to the newly released 2020 Annual Report on Community Benefit from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA).
The Community Benefit report is an important opportunity to highlight the substantial community contributions, public health and safety investments, and economic impact Virginia’s local hospitals and health systems make each day. These contributions include the provision of essential health services to support community well-being, extensive free and discounted care provided to patients without insurance or the means to pay for care, and many other programs that support health care access, critical and often under-funded health services, and promote quality of life.
In 2018, community benefit, as defined by the IRS, totaled nearly $1.7 billion. Along with other forms of community support including Medicare losses, taxes paid, and bad debt expenses absorbed by Virginia hospitals; the total benefit to Virginia communities in 2018 exceeded $3.3 billion. These figures do not include the millions Virginia hospitals are investing each year to fund the Commonwealth’s share of Medicaid expansion costs.
“Hospitals and health systems throughout Virginia are part of the public health and economic bedrock of communities across the Commonwealth through the provision of access to essential health services and medical treatment 24/7/365, and as major employers making significant positive contributions to state and local economies,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “VHHA is pleased to help share the story of all the good done by Virginia hospitals through publication of the 2020 Annual Report on Community Benefit, which highlights a few of the many ways in which community hospitals and health systems serve and support the Commonwealth and its people.”
In addition to the $3.34 billion in community benefit, Virginia hospitals provide more than 132,000 direct jobs (up from more than 126,000 jobs in 2016) with more than $8.5 billion in payroll and benefits, and roughly $40 billion in annual economic impact for the Commonwealth. Local hospitals in Virginia treat the uninsured, under-insured, those with commercial insurance, and other patients regardless of ability to pay. Hospitals support free clinics, mobile treatment programs, and free health screenings. They provide prescription drug assistance, transportation, and many other programs and initiatives beneficial to the community. Hospitals provide substantial subsidies to clinical services such as trauma centers and neonatal units. They support the education of future nurses, doctors, and other health care providers. And they continue to receive recognition for top performance in patient safety and health care quality.
For instance, Virginia ranked as one of the top three states in the nation, according to the Fall 2019 Hospital Safety Grade scores from the Leapfrog Group, a national health care patient safety ranking organization. In recent years, Virginia hospitals have consistently ranked among the top five states in the Leapfrog Group’s bi-annual report cards. Virginia also earned recognition as one of the few states that made the greatest year-over-year improvement in the 2019 “America’s Health Rankings” annual report issued by the United Health Foundation, moving up from 20th to 15th in the rankings. This noteworthy improvement is a testament to the work of hospitals and many stakeholders who are dedicated to improving public health and wellbeing. In 2018, VHHA earned the “HRET HIIN Quality Award” presented by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Health Research & Education Trust (HRET) that recognizes a state hospital association for demonstrating exemplary dedication and leadership in advancing the quality and safety of health care for patients. And in 2017, Virginia was ranked among the top 10 states for health care quality by the federal government.
About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 27 health delivery systems that will transform Virginia’s health care system to achieve top-tier performance in safety, quality, value, service, and population health. Its vision is, through the power of collaboration, to be a recognized driving force behind making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and ISupportVirginiaHospitals.com.
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