Wake Forest Baptist Health today reported that it provided community benefits − charity care, unreimbursed care, education, research and community outreach programs and services − valued at $580.8 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. This includes community benefits provided throughout the Wake Forest Baptist Health system.
This is $130.2 million more than last year, which was a record high at $450.6 million. The increase represents the addition of High Point Regional Health, now High Point Medical Center. $45.8 million represents charity care, unreimbursed care and community outreach programs and services provided by High Point Medical Center and its affiliates in fiscal year 2019. The remainder includes continued increases in patient volumes and improvements in qualifying patients for charity care across the Wake Forest Baptist Health system.
“As the only academic medical center serving northwest North Carolina, Southside Virginia and eastern Tennessee, our patients come from near and far seeking answers and options for medical conditions or traveling urgently in one of our AirCare helicopters to our trauma center. No matter what, we are always here and ready to serve,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine. “We do our very best to provide caring and compassionate care not only to our patients, but also to their families”.
“We see patients and families when they are most vulnerable, alone and worried and also at their most happy holding a newborn in the warm embrace of a family. We do our best to ensure patients and families feel safe, cared for and as comfortable as possible. This is what we have trained for. This is work we love and this is why we are here,” said Freischlag.
Here is the breakdown by category:
Unreimbursed care. Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $374 million in estimated unreimbursed care in FY19, a $119.5 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 the addition of High Point Medical Center.
Charity care. Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $73.5 million in charity care in FY19, an $8 million increase over the previous year. The increase was primarily due to the addition of High Point Medical Center.
Education and research. In FY19, Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $112.1 million in education funding for medical students and other health care professionals as well as research funding not covered by outside sources. This amount represents an increase of $4 million over the previous year and is due to increased research expenses in the following areas: cancer biology, neurobiology, clinical/translational science, physiology/pharmacology science and radiological science.
Community health improvement. In FY19, Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $14.6 million in community health initiatives, operations and donations. This included our Faith Health care initiatives, athletic trainer programs in Forsyth, Davidson, Davie and Wilkes County schools, pastoral care counseling through our CareNet network, free medication to those who qualified for charity care, community donations, our Brenner FIT programs and our partnership with Novant Health at the Highland Avenue health clinic.
Additionally, Wake Forest Baptist Health provided $6.6 million in subsidized operations for our Downtown Health Plaza health program, the Bethesda and Southside health clinics and patient transportation, for a total of $21.2 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.
Additional information about Wake Forest Baptist’s community benefits report is available online.