St. Paul, Minn. -- Minnesota’s hospitals
and health systems contributed nearly $3.3 billion in programs and services in
2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, to benefit the health of their
communities, according to the latest community benefit report released by the
Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA).
“Individual and population health is
influenced by the care provided in our hospitals, health systems, and clinics –
as well as important social drivers such as education, transportation, food
insecurity, and systemic barriers to care,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, president
and CEO, MHA. “Similar to how our health care heroes dedicate their time to
meet patient needs in hospital or clinic settings, our hospitals and health
systems provide innovative services to address basic needs that contribute to
overall well-being in their communities. Improving care of each patient while improving
the overall health of their communities is our mission.”
support provided by hospitals and health systems continued throughout the
pandemic even as the organizations experienced financial fragility and
declining operating margins. The median
operating margin for hospitals and health systems fell in 2020 to a razor thin
1.2% – signaling a continuing trend of financial challenges due in large part
to declining reimbursements from both government and commercial payers; health
care professional shortages that bring higher staffing expenses; and increasing
costs of products and supplies such as pharmaceuticals, devices, and technology
systems for electronic health records.
Minnesota hospitals and health systems invested in a
variety of community solutions to support social influencers of health and
improve the future well-being of Minnesotans. Some examples include:
programs and partnerships with area colleges and universities to invest in
the workers of the future.
mitigation efforts such as vaccine clinics, public health campaigns, and
mental health innovations.
care delivery, such as pediatric dental availability and substance use
- Helping to
address housing, nutritional food, and transportation needs.
- Focusing on
actionable steps to combat health inequities and innovative ways to
educate the public on health disparities.
In addition to improving the health of
their communities, Minnesota hospitals and health systems reported providing:
- $649 million
to patients who did not have health insurance or the means to pay for
million in proactive services responding to specific community health
needs, such as health screenings, health education, health fairs,
immunization clinics, subsidized health services, and other community
outreach programs, including the areas of fitness, nutrition, weight loss,
mental health, and diabetes prevention.
- $172 million in education and
workforce development, including training for doctors, nurses, and other
highly skilled health care professionals.
- $15.4 million in research to support
the development of better medical treatments and find cures for diseases.
- $1.8 billion to supplement government
reimbursements that are less than the actual cost of providing care for
those on Medicare and Medicaid. This totaled 9% of hospitals and health systems’
This community benefit report reflects 2020 financial
information – the most recent data available – reported by Minnesota’s
hospitals and health 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
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