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Illinois Hospitals Contribute More Than

$4.6 Billion Annually In Community Benefits

Naperville, IL (January 2012) – Illinois hospitals contributed annual community benefits of more than $4.6 billion in programs and services in their latest fiscal year (2009-10), according to the fifth annual report issued by the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA). Illinois Hospitals: Cornerstones of Health, Foundations of the Community focuses on how hospitals in Illinois respond to the evolving health care needs of patients in their communities as they strive to lend a helping hand and enhance the services they provide in a multitude of ways.

"As this report shows, our hospitals go far beyond traditional medical care to enhance the health and well-being of their communities," said IHA President Maryjane A. Wurth. "For example, many people are unaware that more than 65 Illinois hospitals are responsible for the ambulance and EMS operations for their communities." Nearly four dozen hospitals and health systems are included in the report.

As reported under the Illinois Community Benefits Act, the 109 Illinois hospitals filing annual community benefit reports with the state provided more than $4.6 billion in community benefits, including:

  • $561 million in free and discounted care at cost (a 124% increase since 2005);
  • $2.23 billion absorbed by hospitals because of underpayments by government-sponsored programs such as Medicare and Medicaid;
    $445 million to educate new physicians, nurses and other medical professionals;
  • $266 million to subsidize money-losing services (e.g., trauma, ER, neonatal ICU, burn units);
  • $906 million in health care services for patients who were unable to pay;
  • $85 million in research on innovative, life-saving treatments and cures;
    $18 million in language assistance services; and
  • $130 million in donations, volunteer work and other services.
    If all of Illinois' approximately 210 hospitals were to file community benefits reports, the total value of community benefits provided would be more than $1 billion higher (under current state law, not all hospitals are required to file the reports).

In the past five years, overall community benefits provided by Illinois hospitals have increased by 26 percent, with charity care numbers alone increasing by 124 percent in that time period. Total community benefits have risen from $3.7 billion in 2005 to $4.6 billion.

Despite the continuing economic downturn and Illinois' challenging political and fiscal environments, the state's hospitals contributed not only services and programs to benefit their communities but also billions of dollars in tangible economic benefits as major employers and job creators and purchasers of goods and services. Illinois hospitals pump $75.1 billion into the state's economy each year, including more than $14.8 billion in salaries and benefits to employ nearly a quarter of a million people. In nearly half of the state's counties, hospitals are among the top three employers.

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Illinois Hospitals: Cornerstones of Health, Foundations of the Community demonstrates the enormous impact Illinois hospitals have on individual lives as well as entire communities as vital health care providers and major job creators.

The Illinois Hospital Association, with offices in Naperville, Springfield and Washington, D.C., is an advocate for 200 Illinois hospitals and the patients and communities they serve.

To learn more, visit the IHA website - www.ihatoday.org