Gary Haberlan: Hospital needs to substantiate claim of $16.3M public benefit
December 22, 2018
On Dec. 17, Steamboat Pilot & Today published an article titled “Medical center gives $16.3M in public benefits.” The article stated that UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center provided $16.3 million in total community benefits based on uncompensated care for uninsured, underinsured, Medicare/Medicaid patients and community programs between Sept. 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
Hospitals are compensated based on their reported costs, location and whether they are a sole provider in their service area. The payments that hospitals receive are calculated from an approved Medicare charge rather than what the hospital bills for the service — a contractual allowance. As the Medicare and Medicaid populations increase, hospital contractuals also increase, but in my opinion, it is a misrepresentation to include these contractuals as a public/community benefit.
UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center administration needs to substantiate their claim of $16.3 million public/community benefit and be more transparent with the community regarding financial issues.
We are also patiently waiting to be informed of the plan for the utilization of the $20 million that was received at the Healthcare Foundation from the UCHealth merger in September of 2017.
Fortunately, the community continues to benefit from the patient care that is provided by the Yampa Valley Medical Center employees and physicians.