Hospitals Provided $631 Million in Community Benefits According to Reports Filed With AG Healey's Office
BOSTON – Massachusetts hospitals provided more than $631 million in community benefits for residents of Massachusetts in Fiscal Year 2014 according to reports published by Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office.
A total of 49 non-profit acute care hospitals reported a total of $577 million in community benefit expenditures, of which $58.7 million was reported for free or discounted care provided directly to patients. In addition, 11 for-profit hospitals reported more than $54.1 million in community benefit expenditures, $9.2 million of which was reported as free or discounted care for patients.
“Massachusetts hospitals continue to display their commitment to serving the needs of their communities,” AG Healey said. “These programs are important resources to help identify and address the unmet needs of underserved and at-risk populations.”
The Community Benefits Program supports a key component of the mission of hospitals and health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which are both critical to the delivery of health care in communities across the state. AG Healey’s Community Benefits Guidelines encourage hospitals and HMOs to build upon their commitment to address unmet community health needs by formalizing their approach to planning for annual benefits, collaborating with community representatives in developing programs, and filing annual reports with the Attorney General’s Office on their efforts.
Each hospital that filed a report this year addressed one or more of the four statewide health priorities identified in the AG’s Guidelines. Those statewide priorities include: supporting health care reform, improving chronic disease management in disadvantaged populations, reducing health disparities, and promoting wellness of vulnerable populations.
Non-profit acute care hospitals were asked to submit their community benefits reports to the Attorney General’s Office by April 1, 2015, and the reports were subsequently reviewed by the office. HMOs were asked to submit their reports by June 1, 2015. These annual reports are available at www.mass.gov/ago/communitybenefits.
The Community Benefits Program is managed by Policy Analysts Robert Ciccia and Tara Ruttle, under the supervision of Division Chief Karen Tseng, of AG Healey’s Health Care Division.