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Provider Focus

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MHP Provides Community Benefit

MHP provides more than $3.75 million in Community Benefit to region

Mahaska Health Partnership provided $3,758,766 in community benefits to the Oskaloosa area, according to a recently completed assessment by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) of those programs and services.

Community benefits are activities designed to improve health and increase access to healthcare. Along with uncompensated care (which includes both charity care and bad debt), community benefits include such services and programs as health screenings,  support groups, counseling, immunizations and nutritional services, to name a few.

“We were able to reach over 49,000 area residents through the community benefit programs we created,” said MHP CEO Jay Christensen. “Whether it is a class, workshop, health screening, counseling group or event, our mission of providing exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine and the humanity of compassionate care, is at the forefront.”

MHP’s community benefit reports are included in a statewide report by the IHA which shows that Iowa hospitals provided community benefits that are valued at more than $1.4 billion, including nearly $600 million in charity care in 2011. All 118 of Iowa’s community hospitals participated in the survey.

The programs and services accounted for in MHP’s community benefit report were implemented in direct response to the needs of residents in the Mahaska County area. Many of these programs and services simply would not exist without hospital support and leadership, said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.

Unfortunately, the ability of Iowa hospitals to respond to the needs of their communities is being hindered by the ongoing economic downturn, as well as by huge losses inflicted upon hospitals by Medicare and Medicaid, totaling more than $274 million (a 5.8 percent increase over last year’s report). MHP lost $2,119,472 to Medicare and Medicaid in 2011. This is significant because more than 60 percent of all hospital revenue in Iowa comes from Medicare and Medicaid.

“We want to continue to be able to provide programs like diabetes classes, women’s breast health events and healthy living workshops and support the efforts of the Oskaloosa Free Clinic because we know the communities we serve value these resources,” said Christensen, “Many people would not have access to this important health information without our programs.”

MHP continues to implement strategies that increase value to their patients and communities by offering high-quality care to individuals and families, addressing the health needs of their area and implementing process improvements that are cost effective. MHP strives to become a leader in rural healthcare by seeking out ways to improve quality, reduce waste and increase safety through their community benefit programs.