Edward-Elmhurst Health's Community Benefit nearly $160m in FY 2015

February 11, 2016
Leonard Rumoro

Edward-Elmhurst Health provided more than $159 million of services as a benefit to the communities served by the health system in fiscal year (FY) 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015).

Charity care – the cost of medical care for patients provided free or at a discount – accounted for $18.5 million of the total. All patients are treated at Edward-Elmhurst sites regardless of their ability to pay for services.

Leonard Rumoro and his family, residents of Carol Stream, are among the many Edward-Elmhurst Health patients who’ve benefited from the system’s Financial Assistance Policy.

Rumoro, 51 years old, was suffering from lymphedema – a condition in which lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg – and needed frequent medical care.

His wife, who carried the family’s medical insurance through her job, was laid off. About four years ago, when the family’s financial situation worsened and medical bills went unpaid, Rumoro called Elmhurst Hospital to talk about setting up a payment plan. That’s when he was told he qualified for charity care.

“That truly, honestly saved our skin,” says Rumoro.

Elmhurst Hospital came through for Rumoro again when a doctor discovered his son’s tonsils were so large he could barely breathe. He needed his tonsils removed, but Rumoro didn’t have the money.

“They said, ‘We’re going to do it.’ They ended up covering it, which was a godsend,” says Rumoro. “Thank you for the charity care, I truly appreciate it.”

Since 2013, Elmhurst Hospital has covered more than $2,700 of medical care for the Rumoro family.

“Our responsibility and commitment is to take care of everybody who comes into Edward Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks,” says Pam Davis, System CEO, Edward-Elmhurst Health. “It’s important that our patients and their families know they’re going to get the same access to high quality healthcare no matter what their insurance and financial situation may be.”

Edward-Elmhurst provides 100% assistance for uninsured patients who earn up to three times the U.S. poverty level. A sliding scale provides discounts ranging from 60-95% for those whose income is three to five times the poverty level. For uninsured patients, even those with incomes above this level, the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount is offered, which reduces charges to no more than 135% of cost. Edward-Elmhurst works with patients to develop payment plans to pay off remaining balances.

In addition, specially trained counselors help uninsured patients apply for public aid, and social workers and discharge planners work with community clinics, primary care doctors and follow-up providers to provide care to qualifying patients on a sliding scale or at no cost.

Edward-Elmhurst’s FY 2015 Community Benefit also included $14.7 million in community services, $118.4 million in unreimbursed costs of Medicare/Medicaid and $7.5 million in bad debt.

Highlights of Edward-Elmhurst Health’s FY 2015 Community Benefit efforts:

  • Increasing awareness of mental health disorders and access to treatment: In FY 2015, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health clinicians began working in the offices of primary care physicians in the Edward-Elmhurst Health system and the Mental Health First Aid program expanded into the Elmhurst area.
  • Taking on the obesity epidemic: Edward-Elmhurst launched its online Healthy Driven Challenge, partnerships continued with ProActive Kids and DuPage County’s FORWARD initiative and patients used the services of the Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic and Elmhurst Hospital Bariatric and Weight Management Center.
  • Screening and prevention: Edward-Elmhurst expanded its use of the online HealthAware screening tool, with tests like HeartAware and StrokeAware, into the Elmhurst Hospital service area, and DiabetesAware was added to the menu of tests. To prevent readmissions to the hospital, Elmhurst opened Heart Failure and Afib/COPD/Pneumonia Clinics.

Edward-Elmhurst Health is comprised of three hospitals – Edward Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. The system has annual revenues of more than $1 billion, more than 50 outpatient locations across a service area of 1.7 million residents in the west and southwest suburbs of Chicago, nearly 7,400 employees and more than 1,900 physicians on staff.

For more information and to read the full Edward-Elmhurst Health FY 2015 Community Benefit report, visit www.eehealth.org/about-us/community-benefit.