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Fitzgibbon Hospital makes economic investment into the community

April 04, 2018

More than 12,000 people were treated in its Emergency Department, nearly 69,000 outpatient procedures were performed, and more than 200 new lives were brought into the world at Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall during its last fiscal year. These statistics, as well as details about the vital health care services and economic investment it makes into the community are part of its updated 2017 Community Investment Report, which presented to the hospital’s Board of Trustees at its meeting on March 27.

The report, summarizing Fitzgibbon’s yearly community benefit and economic investment data, underscores the valuable role it plays in the economy and the community. This role includes not only health care, but also initiatives and investments made to improve the quality of life, ensure an effective workforce and strengthen the local economy. The report parallels the Missouri Hospital Association’s Community Investment Report, which examines the value of hospitals across the state.

Fitzgibbon Hospital’s total investment into the economy of Marshall and the communities it serves totaled more than $42 million during the hospital’s fiscal year ending April 30, 2017 (the latest year for which audited figures are available). This includes:

·         the cost of uncompensated care, including the cost of providing care to those either unable or unwilling to pay. ($4,619,50);

·         the cost of education and research for health professionals ($370,184);

·         financial contributions and in-kind donations to support organizations which improve the quality of life in our communities ($509,247);

·         capital investments in its technology and facilities ($4,990,886); and

·         payroll and benefits paid to its approximately 555 full- and part-time employees in the hospital, its medical clinics and nursing home ($31,601,300).

“As a hospital and one of the largest employers in the area, we share a responsibility to not only provide health care but also to care for those who are facing financial hardship. These figures show just how Fitzgibbon Hospital fulfills our mission of improving health and building strong communities,” said Chief Executive Officer Darin Haug, D.O. “We have many needs in our community, and Fitzgibbon Hospital, the Living Center and our employees meet our community obligation with care and compassion.”

According to the Missouri Hospital Association’s recently released Community Investment Report for 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available), hospitals go beyond supplying only healthcare services. The MHA report shows Missouri hospitals provided more than $3 billion in community benefit – including $1.25 billion in uncompensated health care.

Fitzgibbon Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, provided approximately $4.62 million in uncompensated care during fiscal year 2017. This includes the unpaid costs of treating patients with Medicare, Medicaid and those without insurance. This figure represents the shortfall between the cost of providing patient care and payments received from the government and covered patients. All insurers, whether governmental or private, pay hospitals different rates for providing care. For example, Medicare and Medicaid pay hospitals established amounts for a procedure or illness, regardless of whether it covers the hospital’s actual cost of providing that care.

            According to the Missouri Hospital Association, between 2015 and 2016, the cost of providing care to Missourians at the bottom of the income ladder – individuals who are eligible under hospitals’ charity care policies – increased by nearly $78 million to $719 million statewide. The local hospital forgave $615,548 in charges for healthcare services provided to those in need. These individuals are considered the most vulnerable in our community.

To assist these and other patients, Fitzgibbon Hospital has trained financial counselors who work with patients to make payment arrangements and help to determine their eligibility to receive financial assistance.          

            "A figure of this significance underscores the needs that many of our patients face. As we seek to meet our mission of improving the health of our community, we are very mindful of those who are less fortunate and who may not have the means to pay for their treatment," said Dr. Haug.

             Ensuring that doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are fully educated in the latest technologies, regulations and other aspects of health care, Fitzgibbon Hospital also invested an additional $370,184 in continuing education.

            "Continuing education for our nursing and medical staff is a significant part of our strategy and has always been vital to what we do here at Fitzgibbon," said Dr. Haug. “We believe it is essential that our caregivers maintain the highest level of knowledge on current trends and best practices in medicine, as we continue to strive to always deliver quality, compassionate care.”

            The hospital also “gave back” more than a half million dollars – or $509,247 - in financial contributions and in-kind donations to other health-related and not-for-profit community organizations. These entities ensure the neediest in our area receive essential care and related services. It is also within the hospitals’ mission to assist other civic organizations in strengthening our communities. This support went to schools, groups and activities that develop healthy lifestyle and education programs and assist with patient advocacy. The goal of these contributions is “community building” and improving the quality of life for all.

This category of investment includes the cost of placing a Certified Athletic Trainer within the Marshall Public School District as part of a collaborative effort to help ensure the safety of our student athletes. The hospital also provides free athlete physicals in area schools to ensure that any student who wishes to play a sport and engage in healthy activities is not prohibited by the cost of the required athlete physical.  Additionally, support of the Missouri Valley College Nursing Program, which is located on the campus of Fitzgibbon Hospital, is included in this figure.

Among the many and varied organizations which Fitzgibbon Hospital supports through financial donations are the Salt Fork YMCA, the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra, the OATS Transportation Service, the Marshall High School DECA program, the United Way, the Missouri Valley College Rodeo program, the Saline County Fair Association, the Marshall Booster Club, area Lion’s and Rotary clubs and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. These and dozens of other schools and organizations have benefited directly from Fitzgibbon Hospital's commitment to improve the health, quality of life and education for Saline and surrounding counties.

            For the fiscal year reported, Fitzgibbon Hospital also invested nearly $5 million into capital improvements, which includes investment in medical equipment, health information technology and facilities. This figure included the significant cost of an electronic health record conversion to the Cerner platform. This initiative also consolidated some eight disparate health records in use across the system into a single platform.

            Fitzgibbon Hospital continues to be one of – if not the largest - employer in Saline County, employing 555 full- and part-time employees system wide, including those working at The Living Center nursing home and Fitzgibbon-operated medical clinics. This accounted for $31.6 million in total payroll and benefits and also includes specially trained, contracted personnel to ensure that the highest quality healthcare can be delivered. As these employees spend their payroll dollars in area communities, the dollar re-circulate, boosting the economies of these rural communitities, including Marshall.

            For the complete Fitzgibbon Hospital 2018 Community Investment Report, visit https://www.fitzgibbon.org/about-us/community-investment.For additional information about this release, contact Amy Weber, Business Development Manager, at 660-831-3204.