Virginia Hospitals’ Community Benefit Exceeds $3.29 Billion

Virginia hospitals and health systems provided more than $3.29 billion in community support to the Commonwealth in 2017, according to a VHHA analysis of data from 97 Virginia hospitals. This data, and other key figures about the amount of support local hospitals and health systems provide to communities throughout the Commonwealth, is available in VHHA’s 2019 Annual Report on Community Benefit. In 2017, community benefit, as defined by the IRS, totaled $1.6 billion. Total community benefit includes that sum, as well as other forms of community support including Medicare losses, taxes paid, and bad debt expenses absorbed by Virginia hospitals. The amount of community benefit provided by Virginia’s tax-exempt hospitals exceeded the value of the tax exemptions they received by $481.6 million. Hospitals support free clinics, mobile treatment programs, and free health screenings. They provide prescription drug assistance, transportation, and many other programs and initiatives beneficial to the community. Hospitals provide substantial subsidies to clinical services such as trauma centers and neonatal units, and they support the education of future nurses, doctors, and other health care providers. In addition to their role as providers of essential health services, local hospitals and health systems are economic cornerstones in their communities, directly employing more than 125,000 people, generating nearly $40 billion in economic activity, and supporting local businesses and vendors. The data used to determine community benefit is based on hospital costs, not charges, and includes all acute care and certain specialty hospitals in the state. Community benefit is defined using the Internal Revenue Service definition for Schedule H of Form 990. The 2019 report, which reflects fiscal year 2017 data, can be viewed online here. The graphic below illustrates the annual growth in community benefit provided by Virginia’s hospitals from 2008-2017.