Through Free and Discounted Care, System Helps More than 281,000 Patients by Understanding the Unique Health Needs of Their Communities
(Chicago, IL) According to Presence Health’s Annual Community Benefit Report, the Catholic health system, one of the largest in Illinois, contributed over $161.3 million in community benefit during 2016. Presence Health’s effort helped more than 281,000 people in communities the health system serves with free or discounted medical care, direct financial support, community health programs and education, as well as other services. And while the Affordable Care Act has opened up access to care, its future remains unclear and there are still many in need in the communities served by Presence Health. In accordance with the health system’s Catholic mission, Presence Health provides quality, compassionate care to all members of the community regardless of their ability to pay; often achieving this through Community Benefit.
Presence Health community benefit calculations are based on Internal Revenue Service Form 990, Schedule H, the totals include:
To determine the state of health of each community and identify greatest care needs, each Presence Health hospital ministry collaborates with charitable organizations, community health providers, elected officials, business leaders, schools, churches and residents in creating its Community Health Needs Assessment. From Community Health Needs Assessment findings, plans are developed to address the unique health requirements of each community.
Based on Community Health Needs Assessment data, the following themes emerged as priority health needs across the Presence Health service area in 2016.
Additionally, in 2016, Presence Health broadened its Financial Assistance Policy (FPL) to provide greater support for patients in need who are covered by health insurance but unable to meet out-of-pocket expenses. Under the new policy, patients with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines will have zero out-of-pocket expenses for their care, whether they are insured or not, and insured patients below 400% of the FPL will receive steep discounts for out-of-pocket expenses.
“This policy update reaffirms our commitment to the poor and vulnerable in all of our communities and allows our financial assistance programs to respond quickly to national policy changes as coverage gains continue to provide more of our patients with insurance,” Presence Health System Vice President, External Affairs Will Snyder commented. “The insurance landscape is in flux, but our financial assistance provides certainty for patients regardless of their insurance status. We are proud to have developed an innovative solution that responds with compassion and flexibility to the needs of those we serve.”
Through this policy change, Presence Health supplied more funding for financial assistance as a percent of system revenue in 2016 than any other Catholic health system in the country, with the exception of Ascension Health, the national health system that recently signed a Letter of Intent with Presence Health to merge the health system with Amita Health.
About Presence Health
Presence Health is one of the largest Catholic health systems in Illinois, providing compassionate care to over 4 million people. With over 150 sites of care including 10 hospitals, over 15,000 associates and more than 4,000 medical professionals, Presence Health has annual revenue of $2.6 billion.