Boise, IDAHO – St. Luke’s Health System operations in the Treasure and Magic valleys recorded $438,990,823 million in community benefit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013.
As a not-for-profit organization, St. Luke’s is exempt from some property taxes. To maintain that exemption, St. Luke’s is required to report annually to Ada and Twin Falls counties the amount of money the organization classifies as community benefit. St. Luke’s operations in other counties in Idaho don’t produce enough revenue to require a community benefit report.
The 2013 amount represents a nearly 20 percent increase over the nearly $353 million in community benefit reported in 2012.
In the community benefit report filed with the counties each December, St. Luke’s reports amounts paid in the year for unreimbursed services such as charity care, bad debt write-offs, and costs of care not paid for through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. In addition, St. Luke’s includes the amount donated to community services, both in direct funds and in-kind donations, as well as the amount of capital St. Luke’s spends in the fiscal year.
St. Luke’s reports its community benefits in three categories:
St. Luke's Health System supports a variety of community medical services including the Garden City Clinic in the Treasure Valley.
Medicaid under-reimbursement increased also from 2012 to 2013, by 8.7 percent. In 2013, St. Luke’s recorded $39.6 million in under-reimbursed Medicaid costs, which was up from $36.1 million in 2012.
As a not-for-profit health system, St. Luke’s hospitals and clinics cannot turn anyone away for their inability to pay and must accept all Medicare and Medicaid patients. Because some patients cannot afford care or do not meet their debt obligations, St. Luke’s also has to write off a significant amount of charity care and bad debt.
In 2013, St. Luke’s reported a 4.6 percent increase in charity care, from $20.9 million in 2012 to $21.9 million in 2013.
Bad debt also increased by 22.1 percent, from $29.8 million in 2012 to $38.2 million in 2013.
“For more than a century, St. Luke’s has been committed to serving everyone in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay, and we are not going to waver from that commitment,” said Dr. David C. Pate, St. Luke’s Health System president and CEO. “We expect to see a continued decline in state and federal reimbursements, so it is critical that we continue our efforts to transform health care and deliver on our promise to achieve the Triple Aim of better health, better care, and lower cost.”
In addition to the costs related to under-reimbursed government programs, bad debt and charity care, St. Luke’s continues to invest in community services and programs that benefit community health. In 2013, St. Luke’s invested $23.2 million in the Treasure Valley and $5.7 million in the Magic Valley. Some examples of community services funded by St. Luke’s include:
Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.