Services and programs provided by UC San Diego Health System enhance the lives of patients and residents of the community in many ways. UC San Diego Health System’s community benefit involves providing medical care to those in need, as well as programs and services that promote health and healing in response to identified community needs.
Community benefits must meet at least one of these objectives:
- Improve access to health care services
- Enhance the health of the community
- Advance medical or health care knowledge
- Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts
UC San Diego Health System participated in the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties’ (HASD&IC) state-mandated, triennial Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in 2010. This needs assessment, titled Charting the Course VI, was completed by Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) as the contracted assessment agency and provided an overview of priority health needs in San Diego County. The needs assessment also helps guide UC San Diego Health System’s community benefit implementation strategy for future years.
2013 Needs Assessment
In 2012 and 2013, UC San Diego Health System participated on the Steering Committee for the HASD&IC 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment project. Utilizing the skills of the Institute for Public Health (IPH) at San Diego State University as the contracted facilitator, this comprehensive needs assessment provides an insightful look at the current and emerging health needs of our diverse region. The results of that CHNA can be found at hasdic.org.
Community Benefit 2013
In fiscal year (FY) 2013, UC San Diego Health System provided more than $179,048,000 in community benefit programs and services.
Uncompensated Care – $38,956,000
An overall measure of the care we provide for which no payment is received from the patient or insurer.
Government Sponsored Care – $74,925,000
Unpaid cost of Medicare, Medi-Cal, indigent care programs, State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) and other safety net programs.
Community Benefit Programs 2013
Below are some of the community benefit practices that UC San Diego Health System provides. Health professions education encompasses teaching physicians, nurses and students, as well as scholarships and funding for education. Community health services include health education programs and clinical services within the community. Examples of subsidized health services are emergency and trauma services, hospital outpatient services, behavioral health services, and palliative care and hospice. Through financial and in-kind contributions, UC San Diego Health System offers financial and other support to community organizations to improve the health of the community.
- Health Professions Education – $39,715,000
- Community Health Services – $2,672,000
- Subsidized Health Services – $22,762,000
- Financial and In-Kind Contributions – $18,000
As the only academic health system in San Diego, we enroll participants in hundreds of clinical trials for promising new investigational drugs, treatments and devices each year. Every day, our physicianscientists work together to bring breakthroughs from clinical trials to our patients’ bedsides. Our research efforts, which totaled $547,604,000 in FY 2013, give local residents access to the latest treatments and therapies for advanced illnesses and complex health conditions.
In early 2011, UC San Diego Health System conducted an additional, focused needs assessment in the Southeastern and South Bay regions of San Diego County. These regions are noted for their ethnic diversity and status as historically underserved communities. This needs assessment was conducted through face-to-face interviews with nearly 150 community leaders in the fields of health, education, business, social services, faith-based organizations and others.
Based on the combined results of the 2010 CHNA results of the focused assessment of Southeastern and South Bay San Diego, UC San Diego Health System developed a comprehensive and prioritized description of community health needs based on the following criteria:
- Burden, scope, severity or urgency of the health need
- Estimated feasibility and effectiveness of possible interventions
- Health disparities associated with the need
- Importance that the community places on addressing the health need
The result of that analysis was the creation of the HERE Initiative. The HERE Initiative, which stands for Health + Education + Research = Empowerment, is a comprehensive, nine-project effort that focuses available resources on those communities of greatest need, with each project addressing the criteria listed. These projects are focused on facilitating access to:
- Essential health care services
- Education and workforce development
- Community and research partnerships
The HERE Initiative represents an annual direct contribution of approximately $70,000 in financial support to partner organizations, with additional in-kind contributions to the community equating to $256,000. Launched in 2012, the HERE Initiative has already exceeded many of its goals. Its accomplishments have been heralded by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) with the 2013 Premiere Performance in Public Affairs Award, recognizing the best public affairs program in the country among academic medical centers and teaching hospitals.
As part of the development of the HERE Initiative, an organized research unit (ORU) called the Center for the Investigations of Health and Educational Disparities (CIHED) was created at UC San Diego. The mission of CIHED is to promote and support research for a new understanding of the cultural, environmental, physical, behavioral and biological causes that contribute to health and education disparities in America. These investigations are likely to result in practical interventions that will allow us to reduce the health and educational gaps between ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the United States, in particular within the San Diego area and the surrounding community.