Meeting Community Needs
As part of a nonprofit, Catholic health care ministry, Mercy Health Partners is committed to assessing and responding to the needs of our community. We do this through programs and activities that promote health and healing — also called Community Benefit.
What is Community Benefit?
Community Benefit is the health improvement services provided to the community through investments by the hospitals, based on the Community Health Needs Assessment. Once every three years the hospitals engage with a broad spectrum of community experts to identify the health needs of the community served by the hospital. Those needs are then prioritized and serve as the basis for the hospital's implementation plan to address the community health needs. These needs consist of four general categories of health services funded by the hospital; uncompensated care, medical education, medical research, and community programs. Spending levels in each category reflect the needs of the community. Uncompensated care is the highest need in the Muskegon community with so many residents either uninsured or under insured. As a result, the hospital reported spending over $4 million on uncompensated care in 2008. The next Community Health Needs Assessment will be completed and available to the public in August, 2012.
In addition to uncompensated care, the hospital funds many community programs. Through these programs, individuals receive services focused on health and wellness education, and chronic disease management. Also provided is access to health care, assistance with medical and vision care for the uninsured, health navigation and advocacy assistance , and prescription pharmaceutical assistance to those unable to access medications.
To review the Mercy Health Partners' 2010 IRS Form 990 reporting on its non-profit activities to improve the health status and quality of life for all the families in the Mercy Health Partners service area, click here.
For more information, visit the Catholic Health Association.
Examples of Mercy Health Partners' Community Benefit Programs include:
Pharmaceutical Assistance Program — The Pharmaceutical Assistance Program provides assistance to those within our community who have little or no resources to obtain the prescription medications they need. This program works closely with the hospital system, primary care network, social service agencies and local independent physicians to ensure that each person in our community has access to the medications they have been prescribed.
Wheels of Mercy — A re-purposed RV staffed by community health care workers that provides health screenings, financial enrollment opportunities and pharmaceutical assistance. This program proactively improves access to health services by seeking out those in need and extending a helping hand.
Uncompensated Care — Mercy Health Partners provides medical care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Sometimes called "charity care," uncompensated care is the cost of health services provided to patients who cannot afford them due to inadequate resources or being uninsured or under-insured.
Advocacy — Through its Lead the Way campaign, Trinity Health is encouraging our nation's leaders to work toward a system that provides affordable coverage and high-value, coordinated care to every patient. Learn more about the campaign.