Posted on April 11, 2018
Michigan hospitals collectively invested more than $3 billion in total community benefits according to a new report released by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).
Based on fiscal year (FY) 2016 data, which is the most recent available, the 2018 MHA Community Benefit Report, Leading Michigan to Better Health, provides a detailed overview of how Michigan’s community hospitals are working in local communities throughout the state to help people of all ages get and stay healthy, both in and out of the traditional hospital setting. These efforts include:
- Continuing to provide patients and families with high-quality, cost-effective care. A survey from the American Hospital Association based on FY 2016 data shows that the cost of an inpatient admission in a Michigan hospital is 10.6 percent lower than the national average for a comparable admission. Michigan hospitals’ average admission costs were 9.5 percent lower than admission costs in other Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin)
- Reaching more than 9 million Michigan residents through voluntary community benefit services, programs and activities that range from health education and guidance efforts to community outreach, workforce development and retention, and clinical research. In all, Michigan hospitals invested $776 million in the effort, which is designed to enhance the quality of life for residents throughout the state.
- Covering the costs of unpaid patient care, which totaled $2.3 billion. Medicaid and Medicare Allowable payment shortfalls accounted for the largest portion of the total, at $1.3 billion combined, which represents shortfalls in both programs to cover the full cost of care. As baby boomers age and retire, the Medicare Allowable payment shortfall is expected to continue rising. The unpaid patient care also includes $159 million in financial assistance at cost and nearly $497 million for healthcare services not paid in full (commonly referred to as bad debt at cost). Hospitals once again saw a drop in financial assistance at cost thanks to the success of programs like the Healthy Michigan Plan, which has provided access to affordable health insurance for more than 687,000 as of April 2018.
The report also provides a high-level overview of how hospitals help strengthen the state economy. Overall, Michigan hospitals provide nearly 240,000 direct jobs, which accounts for 40 percent of all directly employed healthcare workers in the state. Overall, there are more than 600,000 healthcare jobs in Michigan, making healthcare one of the state’s largest private-sector employers.
"Michigan hospitals serve a critical role in identifying and addressing the unique health needs of our communities as part of a collective effort to improve the health and well-being of patients, employees, families and neighbors," said MHA CEO Brian Peters. "Our hospitals’ community benefit programs and activities are designed to promote the health and well-being of every single person in this state. But to carry forward our successes, we need to continue working collaboratively with employees, patients, families, community leaders and elected officials to further strengthen the health of Michigan’s economy and its communities — we can lead the charge on population health, but we need the involvement of many different stakeholders to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference."
A full copy of the 2018 Community Benefit Report, Leading Michigan to Better Health, is available online, which also features an itemized listing of community benefit activities and stories exhibiting specific community benefit programs from MHA member hospitals.
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