Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today reported that it provided community benefits - charity care, unreimbursed care, education, research and community outreach programs and services - valued at $378.1 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.
This is $1.8 million more than last year, which was itself an all-time high at $376.3 million, and represents a 0.5 percent increase, year over year.
“Our mission to improve the health of those in our community is alive every day in our neighborhoods," said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist. “From our Supporters of Health who visit patients to make sure they have the medications and social services they need, to our medical students who provide free primary care and screenings at the Delivering Equal Access to Care (DEAC) Clinic, we are privileged to help fill these essential needs. We are not alone in this mission. There are wonderful partners working with us in many of these programs that benefit our community and we are honored to work with them as we serve patients and families throughout the region.”
One of these community programs provided free skin cancer screenings to nearly 300 people. As a result, 61 people were identified with possible skin cancers: five with possible melanomas, 43 with possible basal cell and 13 with possible squamous cell. Another free community program, Share the Health Fair, is held each year and offers screenings, health education and physician consults. In 2016, nearly 300 adults participated. The event is hosted by students from Wake Forest School of Medicine and supported by Northwest Area Health Education Center. Another Wake Forest Baptist program provides free primary care and screenings through the DEAC clinic.
Unreimbursed care. Wake Forest Baptist provided $188 million in estimated unreimbursed care in FY16, a $15.7 million increase over the previous year. This increase represents the non-reimbursed costs of treating patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other non-negotiated government programs as well as an increased number of Medicare and Medicaid patients seeking treatment.
Charity care. Wake Forest Baptist provided $73.8 million in charity care in FY16, an $18 million decrease over the previous year. This was largely due to improvements in qualifying patients for other programs and health care exchanges.
Education and research. In FY16, Wake Forest Baptist provided $107.3 million in education funding for medical students and other health care professionals and in research funding not covered by outside sources. This funding is an increase of approximately $3.4 million over the prior year.
Community health improvement. Last fiscal year Wake Forest Baptist provided $6.6 million in community health initiatives, operations and donations, including our Faith Health initiatives and programs and our physician community health access programs. An additional $2.4 million was spent to subsidize our Downtown Health Plaza programs for a total of $9 million.
Wake Forest Baptist reports its community benefits annually as required by the North Carolina Medical Care Commission, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Health Service Regulation.
The Commission does not require information about bad debt incurred through uncollected fees for services performed. In FY16, Wake Forest Baptist had $24.5 million in bad debt, a drop of $9.8 million over the previous year. This was largely due to more individuals qualifying for charity care or other insurance programs.
Additional information about Wake Forest Baptist’s community benefits report is available online at www.wakehealth.edu/Community-Benefits/About-Community-Benefits.htm
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