Greenville Hospital System uses guidelines set by the Catholic Health Association (CHA) that allow for equitable comparisons of community benefits among healthcare institutions. In recognizing the importance of community outreach in ensuring a high quality of life for all residents in the region, GHS offered support in a variety of ways during Fiscal Year 2012 (October 2011 through September 2012):
To help meet the medical needs of upstate citizens who have no healthcare coverage and cannot afford to pay for healthcare services, GHS provided more than $107 million in charity and government-sponsored healthcare (at cost) in Fiscal Year 2012.
Community benefit programs encompass community health services, education of health professionals, subsidized health services, research, and financial and in-kind contributions. In addition to offering health fairs, screenings and information sessions, GHS works with community groups and educational institutions to train healthcare workers and to ensure access to basic medical services for everyone.
|Charity and Government-sponsored Healthcare Services||$107.1 million|
|Support to the Community and Community Health Partners||$61.3 million|
|Benefits Recognized by CHA||$168.4 million|
Medicare shortfall and bad debt (at cost) also are benefits that the hospital system provides. The Medicare shortfall represents $104.7 million of unpaid costs when reimbursement falls short of the actual cost of care. Bad debt, which totaled $45.5 million, occurs when patients are unwilling or unable to pay for services and do not seek charity care.
|Medicare Shortfall||$104.7 million|
|Bad Debt||$45.5 million|
|Additional Benefits Recognized by American Hospital Association||$150.2 million|
|Total Quantifiable Community Benefit||$318.6 million|
Be the Match®
Approximately every four minutes, someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer. And every year, 10,000 patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. Sadly, only half of these patients actually receive one.
To give these patients a better chance of finding a match, GHS hosted two events in 2012 in which 125 people joined the national Be The Match registry, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. GHS is the Upstate’s only collection site for the National Marrow Donor Program, which means upstate residents who join the national registry and are found to be a match can have their stem cells harvested right here in Greenville regardless of where their recipient is located.
Minority Health Summit
Hispanics and African Americans make up the two largest minority groups in the U.S. These populations are at increased risk for diseases such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease and often lack access to preventive care.
To help these populations improve their health and the health of their loved ones, GHS hosted the sixth annual Minority Health Summit on April 14 at the BI-LO Center. Thousands of people attended the summit, which featured celebrated poet and best-selling author Dr. Maya Angelou.
Dr. Angelou gave a motivational and inspirational talk in which she encouraged participants to take charge of their health. She also discussed the role education plays in helping us to make better, more informed choices about our health and well-being.
In addition, Debra Perez, M.D., of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discussed infant mortality, and BI-LO’s Monica Amburn, R.D., spoke about the link between food and chronic disease. Charleston physician Thaddeus Bell, M.D., also was present and spoke about generations of disease and its effect on minority health.
GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail
To encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical activity, GHS partnered with the Greenville County Recreation District and community leaders in 2007 to create the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. In the last five years, the trail has experienced tremendous growth expanding from just 10 miles in 2007 to 17.5 miles in 2012 with thousands of people using the trail every day.
The beauty of the trail is that it affords all residents – no matter what their age or athletic ability – the opportunity to get fit and be active. In recent years, the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail has seen an influx of sponsored walks and runs incorporating the trail into their course. For example, On On Tri and GHS partnered to host a 5K and half-marathon in March that was run almost entirely on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Several businesses also have sprung up alongside the trail. In fact, early findings from Furman University’s impact study of the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail show that businesses are opening as a result of the trail and others are relocating to be closer to the trail. Those already positioned along the trail are seeing an increase in sales/revenue.