Michigan hospitals invested nearly $2.9 billion in total community benefits in fiscal year 2017, according to a new report by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association in Okemos.
The data, the most recent available, came from the 2019 MHA Community Benefit Report, titled “Healthy Futures, Healthy Communities.” It provides an overview of how the state’s hospitals are working in communities to promote health in and out of the hospital setting.
“Michigan hospitals continue to invest significantly in the health, wellness, and economic success of their local communities,” says Brian Peters, CEO of the association. “Throughout our state, hospitals are offering new and innovative ways to provide preventative care and treatment outside the acute care setting that address health equity barriers.
“Our member hospitals understand better than ever how social determinants of health, such as food insecurity or lack of readily available transportation, can impact the health and wellness of individuals. These efforts are complemented by programs like the Healthy Michigan Plan, which continues to improve access to care for thousands of low-income Michigan residents. As the MHA celebrates its 100-year anniversary in 2019, we continue to work closely with key stakeholders to further advance the health of individuals and communities across Michigan.”
Efforts include continuing to provide high-quality, cost-effective care. A survey from the American Hospital Association based on fiscal year 2017 data shows that the cost of an inpatient admission in a Michigan hospital is 9.8 percent lower than the national average.
Hospitals also are offering voluntary community benefit services, programs, and activities including health education and guidance, community outreach, workforce development and retention, and clinical research. Michigan hospitals invested more than $706 million in the effort.
Finally, hospitals covered the cost of $2.2 billion in unpaid patient care. Medicaid and Medicare Allowable payment shortfalls accounted for the largest portion of the total, at $1.5 billion combined. As baby boomers age and retire, the Medicare Allowable payment shortfall is expected to continue rising. The unpaid patient care also includes $131 million in financial assistance at cost and nearly $419 million for health care services not paid in full, commonly called bad debt at cost.
Hospitals again saw a drop in financial assistance at cost due to the success of program like the Healthy Michigan Plan, which has provided access to affordable health insurance for more than 634,000 people as of September 2019.
The report also provides a high-level overview of how hospitals help strengthen the state economy. Michigan hospitals provide nearly 232,000 direct jobs, which accounts for 38 percent of all directly employed health care workers in the state. There are more than 602,000 health care jobs in Michigan, making the private sector one of the state’s largest.
The full report is available here.
The association advocates in Michigan and Washington, D.C. on behalf of the health care providers and the communities they serve. It works to protect and promote quality, cost-effective, accessible health care.