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UPMC Western Maryland committed $61 million in community benefits in 2019

July 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

UPMC Western Maryland committed $61 million in community benefits during Fiscal Year 2019, up from $53.8 million in FY2018. The numbers were released as part of the 2019-20 UPMC benefits report, showing the health system’s longstanding commitment to meet the many diverse needs of all the communities it serves.

    The totals include nearly $44 million for mission driven services, approximately $11 million for charity care, and more than a million dollars each for health professional education, Medicaid assessment and community health services.

    “Our ever-increasing commitment to community benefit has nearly doubled over the last six years,” said UPMC Western Maryland President Barry Ronan. “Through our care delivery model of value-based care, we have been able to better support the population health needs of the region as well as more thoroughly address the many social determinants of health. 

    “Two of our most recent initiatives that will enhance our community benefit even further include our ongoing assistance to the Allegany County Health Department in their many COVID-related community initiatives and our recently launched commitment to racial equality in the provision of health care services to people of color.”

    Overall, UPMC provided $1.4 billion in IRS-defined community benefits during Fiscal Year 2019, up by $175 million from last year. UPMC’s total economic impact of $42 billion nearly doubled in the last five years. The health system’s spending has a multiplier effect that ripples benefits through local economies. As Pennsylvania’s largest non-governmental employer, UPMC supports more than one in four hospital jobs in the state.  

     UPMC’s $1.4 billion in community-focused programs last year equals nearly $4 million per day or more than 15% of net patient revenue. According to the most recent publicly available data, UPMC contributes more than any other health system in Pennsylvania; the statewide average for hospitals’ contributions is 9% of net patient revenue. 

The $1.4 billion total includes: 

• $479 million to make care more accessible for the most vulnerable residents in our communities, including $102 million in free or discounted care to more than 20,000 patients, and $377 million in unreimbursed Medical Assistance costs and other subsidized care. The reported amounts are UPMC’s actual costs, not the price or charges that would have been billed for care. UPMC provides a disproportionate amount of charity care. While UPMC cares for 18% of patients in all of Pennsylvania, it provides 28% of the hospital charity care in the Commonwealth. 

• $376 million for community health and wellness programs and charitable contributions, including more than 3,000 free and subsidized programs, such as neighborhood clinics and support groups, free medical equipment and transportation. UPMC leads the way in funding community health improvement programs, with 59% of all hospital funding in central Pennsylvania and 50% statewide. 

• $548 million for medical research and education, advancing breakthrough treatments and cures while training the next generation of clinicians. UPMC funds nearly half of all hospital-funded research in Pennsylvania, and along with the University of Pittsburgh, is ranked #6 nationally in National Institutes of Health funding. UPMC has the nation’s fourth-largest medical residency program, and its four schools of nursing educate 700 nursing students each year.  

    Over the past five years, UPMC’s community benefits totaled $5.4 billion. “Behind these big numbers is another big number — UPMC’s 91,000 employees who are proudly and passionately dedicated to serving their communities,” said Edward Karlovich, vice president and interim chief financial officer, UPMC. “Whether they are visibly on the front lines with community partners, directly serving patients and members across our communities or providing individual assistance during difficult times, it is their service excellence and innovation that truly drives UPMC’s community benefits.”

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