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 $373.9 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.
This is $4.2 million less than last year, which was a record high at $378.1 million, and represents a one percent decrease, year over year.
“A great academic medical center heals with its heart as well as its skill and its science,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine. “We seek to make a difference where the problems of our patients and our neighbors are most challenging.
“Whether it’s our medical students who help young children feel less anxious around doctors or about getting a shot, our Downtown Health Plaza patient navigators who make sure patients receive needed resources so paying a bill or buying food is not a choice, or our chaplains who are embedded with local and county first-responders and counsel those who attend and experience crises situations,” said Freischlag, “we are there for those who need us.”
Unreimbursed care. Wake Forest Baptist provided $199.2 million in estimated unreimbursed care in FY17, an $11.2 million increase over the previous year. This increase is primarily due to significant increases in the non-reimbursed costs of treating patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental programs as well as a decrease in payments from other governmental health care programs.
Charity care. Wake Forest Baptist provided $56.9 million in charity care in FY17, a $16.9 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 FY17, Wake Forest Baptist provided $108.6 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 $1.2 million compared to the prior year.
Community health improvement. Last fiscal year Wake ForestBaptist provided $6.8 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 $9.2 million, which is $200,000 more than the previous year and primarily due to increased community contributions.
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 FY17, Wake Forest Baptist had $48.5 million in bad debt costs.
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