Mountain States provided $92 million in community benefit in 2013

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The annual economic impact of Mountain States Health Alliance operations exceeds $1.3 billion, but there are other even more direct ways that the health system supports the communities it serves. Mountain States Health Alliance officials released figures this week for fiscal year 2013 demonstrating a direct community benefit of more than $92 million resulting from the organization’s status as a community-based, not-for-profit health system.

“As a not-for-profit health system, our shareholders are the community,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance. “It is important we be good stewards of these assets, while also ensuring we support the needs of the people who call this home.  Whether it be providing access to care for people who cannot pay, or investing in services for people to help them lead healthier lives, we are incredibly pleased to fulfill this important obligation of our stewardship.”

Part of Mountain States’ mission as a not-for-profit health system is to serve people who cannot afford to pay for their care. This includes people who have no health insurance and people whose insurance does not completely cover the cost of their care. The total unreimbursed care provided by Mountain States was $62,187,835. This included $20,641,266 of charity care – free care provided to people who do not have insurance and cannot afford health care. It also included losses from caring for patients insured by Medicaid and TennCare, which pays hospitals and other providers about 65 percent of what it costs to provide care. The unreimbursed care provided to Medicaid and TennCare patients amounted to $41,546,569.

The health system also provided nearly $5 million in community health improvement services, such as the health education classes and seminars offered to the public free of charge through the Health Resources Centers in Johnson City and Kingsport, and the Respond hotline, offering 24/7 help for individuals experiencing mental health crises. The total amount of these and other community health improvement services was $4,915,162.

As a teaching health system, Mountain States is also committed to helping educate the next generation of doctors and other health care professionals. Mountain States hospitals work with East Tennessee State University, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine to provide training and residency opportunities for medical students, as well as training opportunities for the ETSU College of Nursing and ESTU College of Pharmacy. The total cost of providing this health professions education was $11,959,474. Mountain States also participates in and provides funding for a number of medical research initiatives, at a cost of $134,204.

The community also enjoys access to a number of health services that would not exist on their own, because they don’t bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of providing the service. This includes rural health clinics like the St. Paul Clinic in Lebanon, Va., and the Johnson County Community Hospital Specialty Clinic in Mountain City, Tenn.; as well as mental health services like those provided at Woodridge Hospital in Johnson City. These subsidized health services and others amounted to $12,838,812.

Recognizing that many other organizations in the community also provide critical health care services that have a significant impact and broad reach, Mountain States also provides contributions to help those organizations carry out their missions. This includes support of the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the American Heart Association, the Health Wagon, various Boys & Girls Clubs and the United Way. Contributions to these and other health promotion programs totaled $407,861.

In all, Mountain States Health Alliance provided $92,443,348 of community benefit in fiscal 2013, which amounted to more than 10 percent of the health system’s functional expenditures.