In a country as prosperous and promising as ours, it is alarming that the sickest Americans are paying more for care and getting less for their money. Yet that is the result of a recent analysis by the Commonwealth Fund. The U.S. healthcare system is in a great state of flux – spending as a whole is beginning to trend downward while out-of-pocket costs for consumers are going up. Those consumers are not only patients; they are employers, governments and communities.
We believe it is our obligation, as the region’s largest healthcare system, to usher in changes that will improve the healthcare we provide and make it less costly. It begins with lowering our costs
so that we can then lower our prices, which we’re doing. It continues with changing how we are reimbursed, and ends with us giving back generously to the communities we serve.
In fiscal year 2016, which closed out for us on June 30, 2016, CHI Health invested $146 million in our communities, or 7.8 percent of our net patient service revenue. Of that total community benefit, $128.4 million went to caring for the poor and underserved.
We break our community benefit down three ways:
- 1.) Care for the uninsured or under insured. We are committed for caring for patients whether or not they can pay. We have a healthy financial assistance plan and last year provided $50.7 million to our community neighbors who needed care but couldn’t afford it.
2.) The unpaid cost of Medicaid. Last year we provided $77.7 million in healthcare not covered by state Medicaid. Medicaid is a healthcare program that assists low-income families or individuals pay for the care they need.
3.) Broader Community Health. These are efforts by CHI Health and our employees to help, in very tangible ways, build a healthier community. In 2016, CHI Health invested $17.6 million in programs and partnerships to provide health education, subsidized care and improve the overall health of the community.
Our mission at CHI Health calls us to educate, heal and build healthier communities. We do it because it’s the right thing to do, because we are deeply committed to Nebraska and southwest Iowa and because it’s our home too.