For Immediate Release - July 31, 2013

$161 Million Provided in Community Benefits by Nonprofit HMOs According to Reports Filed with AG Coakley’s Office

BOSTON – Six Massachusetts Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) provided more than $161 million in community benefits for Massachusetts residents in Fiscal Year 2012, according to reports published today by Attorney General Coakley’s Office. 

“Community benefits offer crucial support for health services and programs for people in need,” AG Coakley said. “We are pleased to see that HMOs are committed to maintaining these programs that are responsive to health care priorities across the Commonwealth.”

The community benefits expenditures reported include more than $124 million in assessments supporting the state’s Health Safety Net which pays for care for uninsured and underinsured residents who do not have access to affordable health coverage.

The HMOs also report expenditures on programs to address heart disease in adults, promote literacy, support individuals at risk for violent crimes, and reduce health disparities, and encourage health and wellness in vulnerable populations such as children and adolescents and older adults.

The $161 million in total community benefits from HMOs represents an $18 million, or 13 percent increase, over the previous fiscal year.

In February 2009, AG Coakley issued revised Community Benefit Guidelines for non-profit, acute care hospitals and HMOs with the assistance of an Advisory Task Force made up of representatives from hospitals, health maintenance organizations, community health centers, and consumer advocacy groups. 

Under the guidelines, hospitals and HMOs submit annual reports to the AG’s Office on their community benefit programs and expenditures, which enable both Attorney General oversight and public scrutiny of non-profit and other health care institutions.  The revised guidelines, which became effective in October 2009, were designed to improve transparency and accountability in community benefit reporting, encourage pre-planning and community involvement, and align hospital and HMO community benefit activities with statewide health priorities.

HMOs were asked to submit their community benefits reports to the AG’s Office by June 1, 2013. Reports on the community benefits provided by hospitals were due on April 1, 2013.  Combined expenditures from these entities exceed $822 million toward community benefit programing. This is the third year of reporting under the revised guidelines

The Community Benefits Program is coordinated by Mediator/Policy Analyst Joel Dankwa, Financial Analyst Crystal Nwaroh, and Assistant Attorney General Margret Cooke, with support from Division Chiefs of Attorney General Coakley’s Health Care Division and Non-Profits/Public Charities Division. 

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