The University of California’s academic health centers provided $1.4 billion in net community benefit in FY 2018-2019 reporting period, the most recently completed fiscal year.
Net community benefits expenses in fiscal year 2018-19 reached 9.9 percent of operating expenses across University of California Health (UCH) hospitals. In some cases, they were as high as 12 percent, such as at UCI Health and UCSF Health.
UCH’s 9.9 percent average net community benefit expenses as a percent of total expenses are in keeping with benchmark data for a group of 32 U.S. academic medical centers.
World-Class Care Regardless of Ability to Pay
The largest share of that 1.4 billion — $920 million — was costs that were not reimbursed for treating Medi-Cal patients. UCH hospitals community benefit expenses also included $2.8 million in costs for Medicare that were not reimbursed.
UCH hospitals see thousands of inpatient admissions and millions of outpatient visits each year. Roughly 70 percent of UCH patients have Medicare, Medi-Cal or do not have health insurance.
As such, UCH hospitals and hospital-based clinics care for some of the communities and patients in most need, providing access to world-class care regardless of their ability to pay.
Community Benefits Programs and Activities
Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment or promote health and healing as a response to community needs.
The programs from UC academic health centers are developed with a focus on:
- Providing vital support to improve population health and achieve strategic objectives related to the quality, efficiency and affordability of health care
- Highlighting the significant resources devoted to providing access to care for low-income and other underserved patient populations
- Helping to advance knowledge through health professions education and research that benefits the public
Our community benefits programs and activities advance UCH’s mission of patient care, research and education.
Examples of community benefits include:
- Free or discounted health services
- Unreimbursed costs for care to Medi-Cal recipients
- Health professions education
- Subsidized health services
- Financial or in-kind support for non-profit community organizations
UCH’s community benefit report provides details on these expenses from five of the University’s academic health centers: UC Davis Health, UC San Diego Health, UCI Health, UCLA Health and UCSF Health, including the private non-profit Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland.
The University also operates 20 health professional schools that provide many substantive benefits to communities throughout the state and beyond. In the future, UCH plans to include data regarding the community benefits provided through the health professional schools in future community benefits reports.
Community Benefits and Outreach in Action
Examples of these programs at each academic medical center include:
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)
University of California Health’s academic health centers collaborate with other local health systems to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years.
The CHNAs identify significant health needs of people living in the communities they serve so that health organizations can act upon unmet needs. While CHNAs are developed every three years, University of California Health’s community benefit report is published annually to provide transparency about ongoing activities.