Via Christi Health provided $90.5 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2012
WICHITA, KAN. – Via Christi Health provided $90.5 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2012 to the communities it serves in Kansas and northeast Oklahoma – up from $82 million the previous year, reflecting its long-standing mission and dedication to caring for the vulnerable and improving community health. The total includes $46.8 million in traditional charity care, nearly $21.7 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services and $22 million worth of other community benefit services. Via Christi provided more than $75.8 million in community benefit in Wichita.
In reporting its community benefit, Via Christi Health follows the guidelines set by the Catholic Health Association which calls for all Community Benefit numbers to be reported at cost, not charges. Bad debt (unpaid or uncollectible bills) and unpaid costs of Medicare services are not included. The CHA guidelines are similar to guidelines set by the American Hospital Association and the Internal Revenue Service for reporting Community Benefit. However, the AHA and the IRS allow for including bad debt and unpaid costs of Medicare services and with this methodology Via Christi Health’s community benefit would equal $124.4 million.
“Through our charity care, community outreach, education and services, Via Christi is helping to ensure people in need may access health care because each life matters,” said Jeff Korsmo, president and chief executive officer for Via Christi Health. “Our senior villages, clinics and hospitals work actively within their communities to create and support programs that focus on expanding access to care for people who are poor or otherwise underserved.”
Lynnette RauvolaBouta, senior vice president, Mission Integration, agreed, noting that Via Christi’s founding congregations, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita (now the Congregation of St. Joseph), have been “meeting the health needs of people living in the communities we serve for more than 100 years.”
In addition to charity care for patients who qualify for discounted or free care and unpaid costs of Medicaid services, Via Christi’s FY 2012 community benefit included:
More than $2.5 million in subsidized health services provided by our specialty and family practice clinics, our behavioral health services facilities and other subsidized health services.
Nearly $15.4 million to train future physicians, nurses and other health professionals.
More than $4 million in other community benefit services such as support of community clinics, health screenings, research, community building activities and donations of space to community organizations.
Community benefits must meet at least one of the following criteria: improve access to health services, enhance community health, advance medical knowledge and demonstrate charitable purpose. Via Christi provides community benefit by responding to needs of special populations, such as minorities, frail elderly, poor persons with disabilities, the chronically mentally ill, and persons with AIDS; or supply services or programs that would likely be discontinued if the decision were made on a purely financial basis.
Examples of Via Christi’s community benefit in Wichita include:
Charity care and unpaid costs of providing Medicaid services provided at Via Christi’s hospitals and clinics.
Health professions education for physicians — including the seventh largest graduate medical education program in the country, laboratory technicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, radiology technicians, certified nursing assistants and social services workers.
Support for Wichita State University’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry program, where new dentists provide dental care at reduced rates for low-income or uninsured clients.
Support of community medical clinics, health screenings and other community health programs.
Support of Wichita’s Gerard House, which provides a safe, caring, supportive home for young women choosing to give birth as they decide whether to keep and raise their children or place them with adoptive couples.