Sutter Health Preliminary Statement in Response to State Auditor Report
The State Auditor released a report today about non-profit hospitals and community benefit. Pending a full review of the Report, Sutter Health released a statement which reflects the organization’s philosophy and commitment to community benefit and charity care.
Statement from Bill Gleeson, Vice President, Communications,
Sutter Health at 10:30 a.m.
“Community benefit and improving the health of our communities is at the core of Sutter Health’s mission, values and strategic planning. Because we have no shareholders, we reinvest any money left over after we pay our bills to improve facilities, add lifesaving technology and critical health care services, care for those who cannot afford to pay for health care, and support programs that help those in need.
Sutter Health has a proud track record of reinvesting in the communities and patients we serve. We welcome examination and the opportunity to share information regarding our philosophy and accomplishments. For example:
- In 2011 alone, we invested $756 million in community benefit programs and services throughout our network.
- Sutter Health invested $2.7 million per week on average—or $140 million in 2011—in free or discounted care for patients unable to pay during 2011. Our belief that all patients should have access to top-quality care regardless of their ability to pay is reflected in this significant investment in charity care.
- Since 2002, Sutter Health hospitals and physician organizations have added more than 600 new programs and services.
- Sutter Health has invested $8 billion since 2000 to build, replace and improve dozens of hospitals and physician care centers and to bring lifesaving technology to patients.
Sutter Health takes very seriously our not-for-profit mission and fiduciary responsibility as stewards of our community assets and limited financial resources. We not only follow the letter and spirit of our not-for-profit mission, we meet or exceed state laws (SB 697, 1994 and AB 774, 2006) regarding community benefit reporting and charity care. In fact, our charity care policies were established prior to the legislative guidelines outlined in AB 774.
Any responsible and successful organization continually assesses the changing needs of customers along with financial resources and commitments. In order to remain strong and healthy and meet our customers’ needs, we must adjust our mix of services accordingly.
We have been a leader in developing community benefit standards. We look forward to continuing to work with our communities, members of the legislature and other interested parties to ensure continued availability and awareness of programs and services made possible through our not for profit mission.”