St. Luke’s Hospital provides $1.9 million in community benefits in 2011Published 3:31pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Saving lives, restoring health and providing jobs are just the beginning of hospitals’ contributions to their community. One of our fundamental values at St. Luke’s Hospital is our commitment to our community.
Each year, we are struck by how much the idea of helping our community is woven through St. Luke’s Hospital and its programs. We maintain this commitment both collectively as an organization and individually in our personal contributions. We believe it is our duty and our obligation to support the health and well-being of all those we serve. From Relay for Life to PACWalk to individual health fairs, smoking cessation classes and educational seminars, St. Luke’s Hospital supports many community initiatives each year.
As a not-for-profit organization, it is our obligation and our commitment to use our tax-exempt status for the good of the community that supports us. The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) have outlined how to attach a dollar amount on community benefits for each year, and we submit a report to the state of North Carolina outlining those services we provide, which are considered community benefit programs.
In fiscal year 2011, St. Luke’s Hospital provided a value of $1.9 million in charity care and unreimbursed costs, direct patient care services and community health improvement services. St. Luke’s largest amount of community benefit provided was $928,599 to bad debt, more than $380,000 went to charity care (care provided for free or at a substantial discount to those unable to pay). As all businesses, St. Luke’s Hospital tries to collect money due for services, sometimes people just do not pay. But we are also the safety net for our community, providing care for those who cannot pay.
When community residents are injured or sick, they turn to St. Luke’s Hospital — day and night, day in and day out — for medical care. As a community hospital, we have the responsibility to give back. An annual Community Benefits report also demonstrates how St. Luke’s Hospital goes above and beyond the mission to deliver essential health care services. St. Luke’s is working to keep residents healthier and to meet community needs.
Several examples of different community benefits provided by St. Luke’s Hospital include: HealthTalks with local physicians, Relay for Life sponsorship, hand washing stations at the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival, free balance screenings through the rehabilitation department, and information and education through Healthcare Decisions Day. St. Luke’s also benefited the community through various health and education classes for the community, many health/information fairs for the community and various community organization and event sponsorships. These services are often provided at no cost or at a reduced rate, as they are essential to the well-being of the community and an integral part of nonprofit hospitals’ tax-exempt purpose.
Community Benefits contributions are fundamental to our mission and why we exist. Providing quality medical care through our everyday programs and services is a cornerstone of our enduring commitment to serve our local community. At St. Luke’s Hospital, we’re proud of the vital role we play in our community’s health as we continue to provide exceptional care, close to home.