Care in the Places Where Patients Live, Work, and Play.
Each day Massachusetts hospitals provide high-quality, life-saving care to patients throughout the commonwealth. And every day, these same hospitals reach out to their communities, offering a wide range of services that help build and support the cities and towns they serve, and individuals in all walks of life.
These hospital “community benefits programs” – provided at no cost to those being served – are not reimbursed by state or federal governments, by any health insurance company, or through any public subsidy. Hospitals willingly offer them, knowing that to create healthy an equitable communities they must intervene prior to illness through preventive care and offer wellness programs and support groups, among many other initiatives. This takes extensive work both inside and outside the walls of the hospital.
Hospital Community Benefits:
Care Beyond their Walls
In the latest Fiscal Year of reporting, 2021, 48 Massachusetts nonprofit acute care hospitals – battered by the pandemic and facing unparalleled workforce shortages – nonetheless reported $767 million in community benefit expenditures.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office sets forth voluntary principles that non-profit hospitals follow in creating their community benefits programs. The AGO’s guidelines encourage hospitals to partner with their communities (and other hospitals in contiguous service areas) to offer programs that target unmet health needs within the communities they serve.
According to the latest IRS reporting, hospitals funded the following:
$416 Million in Health Professions Education
Educational programs that are available to physicians, medical students, interns, residents, nurses and nursing students, and other health professionals that are not available exclusively to the hospital’s employees.
$276 Million in Subsidized Health Services
Clinical service lines that would not be available in the community if the hospital stopped providing them. This includes things like air ambulance, neonatal intensive care, burn units, mobile units, and hospice and palliative care.
$265 Million in Research
Clinical and community health research, as well as studies on healthcare delivery that are shared outside the hospital
$91 Million in Community Health Improvement Services & Community Benefit Operations
Activities that improve community health based on an identified community need. They include support groups, self-help programs, health screenings, and health fairs, and also include the costs associated with staffing and coordinating the hospital’s community benefit activities.
$275 Million in Charity Care
Free or discounted health services provided to people who cannot afford to pay and who meet the eligibility criteria of the hospital’s financial assistance policy.
$30 Million in Cash and In-Kind Contributions
Funds and services donated to the community, including contributions to non-profit community organizations, grants, and meeting room space for non-profit organizations.