- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Hospitals Provided $601 Million in Community Benefits for Massachusetts Residents in Fiscal Year 2017
Boston — Massachusetts hospitals provided $601 million in community benefits for residents of Massachusetts in Fiscal Year 2017, according to reports published today by Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office.
“These investments support important local programs that address unmet health needs and substance use, fund free and discounted medical care, and provide initiatives that create healthy conditions where people live and work,” AG Healey said. “Our updated Community Benefits Guidelines, which go into full effect later this year, ensure these millions of dollars in resources are used most effectively to improve health and reduce disparities in our communities.”
A total of 58 hospitals filed Community Benefits reports for Fiscal Year 2017. Forty-eight nonprofit acute care hospitals reported a total of $559 million in Community Benefit expenditures, of which $242 million was reported for free or discounted care provided directly to patients. In addition, 10 for-profit hospitals reported more than $42 million in Community Benefit expenditures, $24 million of which was reported as free or discounted care for patients.
AG Healey’s Community Benefits Program supports a key component of the mission of hospitals and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The office’s Community Benefits Guidelines encourage hospitals and HMOs to build upon their commitment to address unmet community health needs each year 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. HMO Community Benefits reports will be published this summer.
In 2017, AG Healey convened health care experts to examine updates to the AG’s Community Benefits Program and undertook a yearlong revision of the guidelines to establish a more collaborative and community-driven approach by hospitals and HMOs in Massachusetts.
The updated Community Benefits Guidelines were published in February 2018 and will be fully effective starting in Fiscal Year 2019. The new guidelines improve coordination of hundreds of millions of dollars in community health programs made by hospitals and HMOs.
The annual reports are available at www.mass.gov/ago/communitybenefits.
The Community Benefits Program is managed by Project Manager Elana Brochin, Assistant Attorneys General Sandra Wolitzky and Amara Azubuike, all of AG Healey’s Health Care Division.