|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.
In addition to uncompensated care, the hospital funds many community programs through the Muskegon Community Health Project. In October 2009 the Health Project merged with Mercy Health Partners to serve as the community benefit arm of the health system. In 2009 more than 5,600 individuals received services from the Health Project through programs focused on; health and wellness education, chronic disease management, providing access to health care, assistance with medical and dental care for the uninsured, health navigation and advocacy assistance to individuals, and prescription pharmaceutical assistance to those unable to access medications.
The Health Project's community benefit is embedded in the broad network of collaborative partnerships to ensure that the health needs of the community can be addressed through a fully integrated health delivery system. To see how the Health Project organizes and manages the delivery of its community benefit programs and services, click here for the link to the Community Benefit Collaborative Structure chart. To view the Health Project's Community Benefit model itself, click here.
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.