June 15, 2017: Report: N.J. Hospitals Provide $2.75 Billion in Community Benefits

PRINCETON – New Jersey hospitals and health systems support their communities with free and discounted healthcare services, community health improvement programs, education, research and other benefits valued at $2.75 billion, according to the annual report of community benefit programs from the New Jersey Hospital Association.

The report, N.J. Hospitals Caring for Their Communities, tallies 2015 data across the state’s hospitals and health systems. It looks beyond the value of the healthcare services provided by hospitals to the “value-added” contributions to their communities such as outreach programs on healthy diet and exercise, community health offerings like immunization clinics and health screenings, behavioral health programs like support groups, education for the next generation of healthcare providers, payments to their host municipalities in lieu of taxes and support for urgent needs in the community – such as providing Narcan to help prevent overdose deaths.

“Our hospitals are always open to provide healthcare services, but healthcare today is no longer centered in the hospital,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan. “Good health begins in the community, and this is a $2.7 billion investment in our towns and neighborhoods.”

Data from the report is based on survey responses from 52 hospitals and then extrapolated to represent the broader contributions of New Jersey’s 71 acute care hospitals.

The $2.75 billion in community benefits include:

  • $2.2 billion in unpaid costs of patient care, which includes $646 million in unreimbursed charity care services for the uninsured and working poor, $276.2 million in unpaid care for Medicare patients and $147 million in unpaid care for Medicaid beneficiaries. This amount also includes $1.1 billion in uncollectable costs for treatment, also known as bad debt.
  • $73.3 million in community health improvement services, which include programs such as community gardens, health fairs and fitness challenges. More than 10,000 such programs were held statewide, providing more than 15.7 million unique “personal encounters” between hospitals and their community members.
  • $122 million in health professions education, which includes education, internships, residency programs, scholarships and other programs to prepare the next generation of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. More than 48,800 current and future healthcare workers were served in these programs.
  • $351 million in other community services and programs, many of which go beyond the traditional definition of “healthcare programs.” This includes clinical research, contributions to municipalities and healthcare programs that operate at a loss and are subsidized by the hospital. Hospitals provided more than 4,600 such programs in 2015, with more than 1 million unique personal encounters.

View the full report at http://www.njha.com/media/413753/17-community-benefit-infographic-report.pdf and visit Keep NJ Healthy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/keepNJhealthy to see more of the array of community programs provided by New Jersey hospitals and health systems