Hospital community benefit is a planned, managed, organized and measured approach to a hospital’s participation and contribution toward meeting identified community health needs. It includes collaboration with a community to benefit its residents – particularly the poor, minorities, disfranchised and underserved groups – by improving their health status and quality of life and enhancing the overall health and well-being of local communities.
Nebraska’s hospitals provided nearly $843 million in community benefits over the past year, according to the Nebraska Hospital Association’s 2011 Nebraska Hospitals Community Benefits Report.
“Kearney County Health Services provides community benefits which include Provider education and outreach, medical coverage for sporting events, screening tests at reduced costs, and free and reduced-cost health care services to patients who are unable to pay”, says Fred Meis, CEO. “We are trying to go above and beyond the delivery of direct patient care to ensure safer environments, earlier detection of diseases, and equal access to quality healthcare.” During fiscal 2012, Kearney County Hospital and Medical Clinic provided a total of $ 52,831 in charity care to patients who were unable to pay for health care services.
Beyond community benefits, Nebraska hospitals also contribute to the economy by creating jobs and generating business. According to the Nebraska Hospital Association’s 2011 Nebraska Hospitals Community Benefits Report, Nebraska hospitals employ more than 42,000 individuals, resulting in more than 29,000 jobs in the state created due to hospitals.