DCHC Provides Community Benefit
$2,326,953 in Uncompensated Care and Health Care Services Given Annually
Bloomfield, IA – Davis County Hospital & Clinics provides $2,326,953 in community benefits to Davis County, according to a recently completed assessment of those programs and services. That amount, based on 2018 figures, includes $663,593 in uncompensated care and $1,663,360 in free or discounted community benefits that Davis County Hospital & Clinics specifically implemented to help Davis County residents.
Community benefits are activities designed to improve health status and increase access to health care. Along with uncompensated care (which includes both charity care and bad debt), community benefits include such services and programs as health screenings, support groups, counseling, immunizations, nutritional services and transportation programs.
The results for Davis County Hospital are included in a statewide report by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) that shows Iowa hospitals provided community benefits in 2018 valued at more than $954 million, including more than $253 million in charity care.
“This data demonstrates Davis County Hospital & Clinics’ commitment to making our community healthier,” stated CEO, Veronica Fuhs. “We will continue to provide healthcare services to our community to help those who need it and to ensure that we are working towards improved health and access to care in Davis County.”
The programs and services accounted for in the survey were implemented in direct response to the needs of communities, counties and regions. Many of these programs and services would not exist without hospital support and leadership.
Uncompensated care and charity care also play roles in the community benefit for services provided by hospitals. Total uncompensated care in 2018 was valued at $537 million in Iowa. The survey also showed total Medicare and Medicaid losses (at cost) of $232 million.
More patients have been able to obtain services due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many of the plans have high deductibles and as patients have services, we see an increase in Charity Care and Bad Debt expense. The ACA changes has provided insurance to thousands of individuals who are now able to seek health care.
“Davis County Hospital experienced a $34,418 decrease in Charity Care and a $17,009 increase in Bad Debt expense from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018,” commented Kendra Warning, Chief Financial Officer. “Our gross patient revenue remained fairly consistent from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018, with only a 0.07% increase. As patients elect plans with higher deductibles, which lower premiums but increase the patient’s out-of-pocket expense for services, we may see increases from year to year in Charity Care and Bad Debt expense.”
Iowa hospitals, which employ more than 76,000 people, continue implement strategies that increase value to their patients and communities by offering high-quality care to individuals, addressing the health needs of communities and implementing process improvements that bend the cost curve. By seeking out ways to raise quality, reduce waste and increase safety, Iowa hospitals have become value leaders, as shown in multiple studies by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, the Commonwealth Fund and others.
These efforts, along with IHA’s ongoing advocacy to create fairer payment methodologies from Medicare and Medicaid, help ensure the financial stability of hospitals, making it possible for them to provide the services and programs most needed by their communities.