PAUL – Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems contributed nearly $5.2 billion
in programs and services in 2017 to benefit the health of their communities, an
increase of 6.4 percent compared to 2016, according to the latest annual
Community Benefit Report released by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA).
hospitals and health systems are dedicated to their community service missions
of supporting their communities by promoting health,” said Lawrence Massa,
president and CEO of MHA. “Much of what influences our health happens outside
of the doctor’s office – in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. Just as
our care teams devote themselves to meeting the needs of patients in the
hospital, our hospitals and health systems are driven to address their communities’
Of the $5.2 billion,
Minnesota hospitals provided $502 million in proactive services responding to
specific community health needs, such as health screenings, health education,
health fairs, immunization clinics and other community outreach, including in
the areas of fitness, nutrition, weight loss, mental health and diabetes
few examples of community programs include:
Health operates the Child Advocacy Center to help children who have been
physically, sexually or emotionally abused. The health system invests more than
$350,000 annually for including advocacy services, facility space and staff.
Since opening in 2016, the Child Advocacy Center provided care for 468 children
who experienced abuse and 360 caregivers.
Health invested over $83,600 plus staff time in three hospital communities
across northern Minnesota to help people better understand mental illnesses and
help reduce the stigma felt by those who experience them. The health system has
reached thousands of community members through educational materials, community
events and speakers’ bureaus.
Hospital supplies a full-time social worker to the St. Paul Police Department’s
new Mental Health Unit to help connect people in crisis with the care they need
and significantly reduce mental health crisis-related arrests and repeat calls
addition to improving the health of the community, Minnesota hospitals reported
million in uncompensated care, or care provided without payment. This
uncompensated care includes charity care for patients from whom there is no
expectation of payment and bad debt, the result of patients who could not or
did not pay their share of the hospital bill. Bad debt expense increased by 24.7
percent to $467 million in 2017. Charity care costs increased by 9 percent to
$224 million in 2017. The proliferation of high-deductible health plans may be
contributing to growth in bad debt. In addition, Minnesota’s uninsured rate
rose to 6.3 percent in 2017, leaving approximately 349,000 Minnesotans without
health insurance coverage. With the 2017 repeal of the portion of the ACA that
mandated individuals have insurance coverage, hospitals and health systems
anticipate further increases in both charity care and bad debt in the future.
million in education and workforce development, including training for doctors,
nurses and other highly skilled health care professionals.
million in research to support the development of better medical treatments and
to find cures for diseases.
billion in government underfunding as a result of treating Medicare and
Medicaid patients and receiving government reimbursements that are less than
the actual cost of providing the care. This is 10.1 percent of hospitals’
2018 Community Benefit Report reflects 2017 financial information – the most
recent data available – self-reported by Minnesota’s hospitals and health care
systems and supplemented with data reported to the Minnesota Department of
Health. The annual report comprises an analysis of categories of community
contribution activities on a statewide and regional basis.
read more about hospitals’ community programs and view this or previous
community benefit reports, visit www.mnhospitals.org/policy-advocacy/priority-issues/community-benefit-activities.
Minnesota Hospital Association represents 142 hospitals and health systems,
which provide quality care for their patients and meet the needs of their
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