For most people, buying health insurance ensures their access to healthcare. But one of the most important roles Fitzgibbon Hospital plays, along with other Missouri hospitals, is serving as a safety net for anyone who needs medical care – even those who can’t afford their care.
According to the most recently released report by the Missouri Hospital Association, hospitals across the state in 2017 provided $3.3 billion in benefit to the communities they serve. For Saline County and its service area, Fitzgibbon Hospital provided more than $43.4 million in community benefit and economic investment, including employment and payroll for 526 people, underscoring the important role hospitals pay as economic engines for their communities.
In its annual Community Investment Report, presented to the Fitzgibbon Hospital Board of Trustees at its meeting on March 26, it notes almost $5.3 million in uncompensated care and Medicare and Medicaid shortfalls was provided in fiscal year 2018, the latest year for which figures are available. This amount includes forgiveness of nearly half a million dollars in “Charity Care” provided to the neediest in the community.
“Part of our role at Fitzgibbon Hospital and The Living Center is to meet the healthcare needs of our community. That means serving as a safety net and really ‘being there’ for folks when they need us most,” said Darin Haug, D.O., President and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital. “While our mission statement is to ‘Improve the Health of Our Community,’ we take on that challenge with care and compassion for everyone who enters our doors.”
As an added service to the community, Fitzgibbon employs trained financial counselors to work with patients to determine if they qualify for financial assistance. They also recently engaged an outside firm to which patients are referred to determine qualification for Medicaid and Medicare.
A not-for-profit entity itself, the Fitzgibbon organization sees a large facet of its community investment in giving back to other organizations in the community, many of whom share the desire to improve the health and quality of life for all. The report highlights the following:
· Investing $345,500 for health professionals’ education and research activities; and
· Contributing cash and in-kind donations totaling $432,561 to support other community organizations, healthy lifestyle programs, patient advocacy and community event sponsorships.
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 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.
To ensure the hospital, the four rural health clinics it operates and The Living Center long-term care facility keep abreast of advancing medical technologies, it made $4.86 million in capital investments during the 2018 fiscal year.
“It is our goal to continually improve the services we offer and the facilities occupied by our hospital and clinics to ensure our patients receive care in a safe and pleasant environment,” said Haug.
During the period from May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018, the hospital treated 11,699 people in its Emergency Department, brought 220 new lives into the world, provided care during 2,195 inpatient stays and provided 64,380 visits to patients in an outpatient setting.
For the complete Fitzgibbon Hospital 2019 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.