From Apples to Financial Assistance: IU Health Contributes Nearly $500M in 2011 Community Benefit
An IU Health Release
INDIANAPOLIS – Cynthia Pierson suffers from diabetes and is wheelchair-bound, making it difficult for the Indianapolis resident to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Thankfully, Indiana University Health launched a mobile produce program called Garden on the Go, which, since spring 2011, has been bringing fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables to low-income Indianapolis “food deserts,” or areas lacking access to healthy, inexpensive foods.
Pierson, who lives in a food desert, is just one of the more than 1.3 million Hoosiers who benefited from IU Health’s community benefit in 2011. IU Health invested more than $496 million into the community through various programs – including Garden on the Go – according to an annual report filed with the Internal Revenue Service today.
“The fact that it’s bringing fruits and vegetables for the price they have, you can’t beat it,” said Pierson. “It’s the best thing to happen here in a long time.”
When subtracting the community benefit from hospitals that joined the IU Health system in 2011, the total amount increased 12 percent from 2010. The $496 million figure doesn’t account for “other investments,” including community-building activities, unreimbursed costs of Medicare and bad debt that add another nearly $200 million to the total. In all, the amount of community benefit and other investments from IU Health in 2011 adds up to more than three times the cost of building Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The report highlights “community benefit” and “other investments.” The IRS requires non-profit health systems to file such a report each year. In 2011, Highlights from IU Health’s 2011 report are below:
Community benefit includes (2011 investment in parentheses):
- Charity care ($143.1 million, or 3 percent of net patient revenue for the system)
- Unreimbursed costs of Medicaid and other government programs ($234.7 million)
- Community benefit operations and health improvement services ($17.7 million)
- Health professions education ($61.6 million)
- Subsidized health services ($14.4 million)
- Research ($18.9 million across 2,300 clinical trials and studies)
- Financial and in-kind contributions ($5.7 million)
"IU Health has a long-standing tradition of ensuring all Hoosiers have access to quality healthcare and of investing in the communities we serve across the state,” said Ron Stiver, senior vice president for Engagement and Public Affairs, IU Health. “2011 was no exception, with significant investments inside and outside of the walls of our facilities to improve the health of our patients and communities."
Other 2011 community benefit highlights:
- IU Health employees served as mentors to more than 200 pre-kindergartners across the state in kindergarten readiness camps, which resulted in an average 3-point increase on test scores and 11 percent increase among Indianapolis Public Schools participants.
- IU Health partnered with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and Indy Parks to form Indy Urban Acres, an 8-acre organic urban farm where all produce goes to local food pantries. In 2011, staff harvested 1,400 pounds of produce, which provided more than 7,000 servings of vegetables to food pantries.
- Provided financial assistance to more than 60,000 patients.
A copy of the 2011 Community Benefit report is now available at iuhealth.org/getstrong. To schedule an interview with an IU Health leader, please contact Kristofer Karol at 317.962.4589.
About Indiana University Health Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 15 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.