Edward-Elmhurst Health provided $184 million of services as a benefit to the communities served by the health system in fiscal year (FY) 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016), a 16 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Charity care – the cost of medical care for patients provided free or at a discount – accounted for $19.6 million of the total, a six percent increase over FY 2015. Edward-Elmhurst’s FY 2016 Community Benefit also included $21 million in community services and $143.3 million in unreimbursed costs of Medicare/Medicaid, 21 percent higher than FY 2015.
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.
“We can assure the community, especially in this time of uncertainty, that they will receive high quality healthcare regardless of their financial or health insurance situation,” says Mary Lou Mastro, System Co-CEO, Edward-Elmhurst Health. “Our Financial Assistance Policy, including charity care, provides needed assistance for qualifying patients at Edward Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks.”
Highlights of Edward-Elmhurst’s FY 2016 Community Benefit efforts:
- Increasing access to healthcare services. In addition to its charity care program, Edward-Elmhurst, through its partnership with Change Healthcare, used the Medicaid Application Initiative to guide uninsured and underinsured patients through the complex application process for federal, state, and community benefit programs. Edward-Elmhurst also improved access to primary care with the opening of four new Walk-In Clinics, a more cost-effective approach to receiving care compared to an emergency department or immediate care visit.
- Increasing awareness of mental health disorders and access to mental health services: Linden Oaks expanded its Behavioral Health Integration program that embeds Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists in primary care offices to provide early detection of behavioral health concerns, and access to timely and appropriate mental health care. Linden Oaks also continued to lead the region’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) initiative, which teaches participants from the community to identify individuals who may need help for a mental illness, effectively communicate with them and guide them to appropriate professional help. In FY 2016, Youth MHFA, MHFA for Public Safety and MHFA for Higher Education classes were added to the curriculum and the Linden Oaks MHFA Consortium provided training for the Naperville Police Dept., Kendall County Sheriff’s Office and Lombard Police Dept.
- Taking on the obesity epidemic: Edward-Elmhurst continued its partnership with ProActive Kids (PAK), a free program for children aged 8-14 who fall into the 85th percentile for BMI (Body Mass Index). Over an eight-week period, PAK (featured in photo) teaches children and their families creative ways to encourage healthy living and improve health through exercise, nutrition and lifestyle coaching. Edward-Elmhurst is also an active coalition partner in FORWARD (Fighting Obesity, Reaching Healthy Weight Among Residents of DuPage), an effort with the goal of improving the health and well-being of children and families in DuPage County. In FY 2016, patients used the services of the Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic and Elmhurst Hospital Bariatric and Weight Management Center. Both programs use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to weight management, combining weight loss medication, if needed, with lifestyle training to help maintain weight loss.
- Screening, prevention and education: Edward-Elmhurst continued its Healthy Driven initiative, which connects community members with healthy-living educational programs, fitness opportunities and risk assessments. Among the resources provided: HealthAware screenings – free, online, five-minute tests to determine a person’s risk for disease or disorders; Healthy Driven blogs on the EEHealth.org web site; healthy recipe videos and live chats with behavioral health representatives.
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 8,400 employees, including 1,900 nurses with 2,000 physicians on staff, plus 1,300 volunteers.
Read the full Edward-Elmhurst Health FY 2016 Community Benefit report.