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Via Christi Health’s community benefit tops $91 million in fisca - KOAM TV 7

Via Christi Health’s community benefit tops $91 million in fiscal year 2014, including $7.5 million provided by Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Via Christi Health, a member of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and not-for-profit healthcare system, provided $91.4 million in community benefit in the 2014 fiscal year, providing free medical care to those in need, educating healthcare professionals and supporting community health efforts in Pittsburg, Wichita, Manhattan and Wamego.

In reporting its community benefit, Via Christi Health follows the guidelines set by the Catholic Health Association, which calls for community benefit to be reported at the health system's cost of providing those services, rather than the amount billed. The CHA guidelines are similar to guidelines set by the American Hospital Association and the Internal Revenue Service for reporting Community Benefit. However, the AHA allows for reporting bad debt and unpaid costs of Medicare services. If bad debt and unpaid costs of Medicare services were included, Via Christi Health's total benefit to the community would equal $139.2 million.

Via Christi's total of $91.4 million in community benefit includes $40.9 million in charity care. It also includes $27.1 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid services. In Pittsburg, Via Christi provided $7.5 million in community benefit including $4.1 million in charity care.

“Consistent with our mission, Via Christi is helping ensure that people in need have access to quality healthcare through our charity care, community outreach, education and services,” said Jeff Korsmo, president and CEO of Via Christi Health. “Our clinics, hospitals and senior villages work actively within their communities to create and support programs that focus on expanding access to care for people who are poor or otherwise underserved.”

In addition to charity care for patients who qualify for discounted or free care and unpaid costs of Medicaid services, Via Christi's overall fiscal year 2014 community benefit included:

  • Nearly $500,000 in subsidized health services provided by our specialty and family practice clinics, and other subsidized health services. 
  • More than $17.4 million in training for physicians, nurses and other health professionals. 
  • More than $5 million in other services, such as support of community clinics, health screenings, research, community building activities and donations of space to community organizations.

Community benefit must meet at least one of the following criteria: improve access to health services, enhance community health, advance medical knowledge or demonstrate charitable purpose. Via Christi provides community benefit by responding to the medical needs of special populations, such as minorities, frail elderly, poor persons with disabilities, the chronically mentally ill, and persons with AIDS; or supply services or programs that would likely be discontinued if the decision were made on a purely financial basis.

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