Community benefits

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is committed to serving our community. In addition to providing quality health care, PeaceHealth Southwest contributes to and participates in many ways with community agencies and groups.

The Washington State Hospital Association has defined community benefits which demonstrate the accountability of hospitals such as PeaceHealth Southwest to the communities they serve. These benefits also help evaluate the success of each hospital in meeting its community mission.

The major elements of community benefits are:
  • Community services - These are unreimbursed costs of programs and activities for four categories: community health programs and activities, health profession education, health research, and cash and in-kind donations.
  • Charity care designation - necessary hospital care rendered to indigent persons, to the extent that the persons are unable to pay for care.
  • Medicaid payment shortfall - unreimbursed costs of providing care to Medicaid recipients. Medicaid beneficiaries represent special needs populations with no other means of health insurance.
In 2011, PeaceHealth Southwest's contribution to the community totaled $136,035,132. The largest portion went to Charity Care in the amount of $42,530,440 with community services contribution at $4,307,738.

Community Services

Community services includes health professional education, community health programs, for cash and in-kind donations, and for health research.

Health professional education includes training for physicians and medical students, scholarships and funding for health professional education, other programs such as libraries and resources to support formalized training programs and continuing education for health professionals in our community (not solely for hospital staff).

Community health programs include community health education and outreach, health care for low-income or under-insured persons, patient education and disease prevention, health screenings, support groups and counseling, immunizations, and other programs such as transportation and family support.

Cash donations include funds donated to social service and community agencies for health-related activities, contributions to charitable organizations, and sponsorship of health-related community events.

In-kind donations include free or reduced cost supplies, equipment and prescription drugs; staff time for community board and charitable organizations; free use of rooms and facilities for community meetings and activities.

While bad debt is not included in the State of Washington's approved list of Community Benefits, PeaceHealth Southwest believes providing such uncompensated care affects all of the community. In 2009, PeaceHealth Southwest wrote off $48,533,685 to bad debt.

Download Washington State Hospital Association's Community Benefits Inventory

Tax Burden

Although PeaceHealth Southwest is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, the Medical Center does pay a significant amount of taxes each year. PeaceHealth Southwest's combined tax liability (including sales taxes on things like medical supplies and purchased services and capital expenditures) and business and occupational taxes in 2011exceeded $4.3 million.