KINGSPORT — Wellmont Health System has announced providing a community benefit of $94 million in its last fiscal year, including $77 million in uncompensated care.
The figures were cited in Wellmont’s annual report.
“Wellmont is pleased to play an extensive role in the economic vitality of our region, and this report shows how deeply we are woven into the fabric of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia,” Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont president and CEO, said in a prepared release.
The Wellmont release noted the health system completely writes off charges for patients with incomes less than twice the federal poverty guidelines and provides a 60 percent write-off for uninsured patients who exceed that income level.
“The $77 million (in uncompensated care) has been written off. This figure does not include bad debt expense,” Wellmont spokesman Jim Wozniak wrote in an email.
The health system reported providing more than $5.2 million in community health education and outreach, including free screenings, health fairs, support groups, medical libraries and health seminars. Wellmont also committed about $6.3 million for medical professionals’ training and continuing education of co-workers.
The Wellmont Foundation also invested nearly $4.5 million to strengthen Wellmont facilities and programs throughout the region.
“We are constantly looking for the best ways to improve our region’s health status and are proud of the way we have helped our valued patients and the community as a whole,” DeNarvaez added. “The coming years will be challenging with declining Medicare reimbursements from the federal government, further reductions as a result of the federal sequester and the uncertainty of Medicaid expansion. But the future is also exciting as we embark on new methods of care that are geared to prevent illness and build even stronger relationships between patients and their providers through projects such as our patient-centered medical home and the electronic health record.”
To read Wellmont’s annual report, please visit www.wellmont.org.