Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s financial commitment to programs and activities defined as community benefits by a state agency totaled $258.9 million in fiscal year 2013.
The figure represents an all-time high for the institution; an increase of $21.5 million, or 9 percent, over the previous year; and 13.3 percent of the Medical Center’s total expenditures during the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2013.
“Once again, these numbers clearly illustrate our intense dedication to and positive impact on the health and well-being of the residents of this region,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., Wake Forest Baptist’s chief executive officer. “We are proud to be a national leader in clinical care, education, research and innovation, but we also believe that our mission in the community runs deeper than what is generally expected of academic medical centers.”
Wake Forest Baptist submitted its community benefits figures for fiscal year 2013 in an annual report required by the North Carolina Medical Care Commission, an agency of the state Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Health Service Regulation.
Wake Forest Baptist’s outlay of $95.9 million for non-reimbursed costs of treating patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other non-negotiated government programs accounted for the largest share (37 percent) of the community benefits total. It also marked the largest increase – $31 million, or 47.8 percent – over the previous year, largely because payments from the various programs did not rise proportionally with the increased costs of this care.
The amount devoted to providing charity care, $69.5 million, was the second-largest expenditure by category, followed by medical and health professions education ($56.6 million) and research not funded by outside sources ($30.2 million).
The Medical Center also spent $5.2 million on community health-improvement initiatives, non-billed services, donations to local organizations and sponsorships of community events and $1.5 million on subsidized health programs, including operation of the Downtown Health Plaza.
In accordance with state Medical Care Commission’s guidelines, Wake Forest Baptist did not include in its report $44.9 million in bad debt from uncollected charges for services performed. The increase of $13.6 million, or 43.3 percent, over fiscal year 2012 was due in large part to disruptions caused by the Medical Center’s implementation of an electronic records system.
Additional information about Wake Forest Baptist’s community benefits report is available online at wakehealth.edu/community-benefits-overview.htm.
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