New UChicago Medicine report details $283 million in community benefit

New UChicago Medicine report details $283 million in community benefit

October 31, 2014

The University of Chicago Medicine contributed $283 million in fiscal 2013 to improve the health of the South Side and the broader Chicago area, according to its just-published third annual report outlining benefits and services to the community.

That was an 11 percent increase over the year-ago level of $254 million and amounts to 22.5 percent of its operating expenses for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, according to the Community Benefit Report. The $283 million figure covers uncompensated care, charity services, unrecoverable patient debt, medical education and research, and other support to the community.

Uncompensated care totaled $153.6 million, reflecting $115.62 million in losses under Medicare and Medicaid, government-sponsored insurance plans that reimburse health care providers at lower rates than the actual cost of care. That figure included $25.7 million in charity care and $12.3 million in forgiveness of patient debt. In addition, the University of Chicago Medicine contributed $78.9 million toward medical education not covered by tuition or grants and $48.3 million for medical research to help advance patient care.

This year's Community Benefit Report offers a closer look at several programs to address the priorities uncovered in the medical center's Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The CHNA, introduced in the fiscal 2012 Community Benefit Report, identified the following as health needs in the areas the medical center serves: access to care, diabetes, childhood obesity and asthma, and cancer -- particularly breast and colorectal cancer.

The report is themed around community partnership and features a broad range of programs and events to support or expand the reach of existing neighborhood resources. The University of Chicago Medicine continues to find ways to link more patients to high-quality care and valuable preventative services close to home.

For example, one program helps physicians connect patients with community-based resources to support managing chronic diseases, and two other initiatives partner with nearby schools to infuse healthy eating and good exercise habits into their daily curriculums. 

"No organization can tackle the health challenges facing our communities alone," said Brenda Battle, RN, vice president for care delivery innovation and chief diversity and inclusion officer. "We're aggregating our resources and tapping the strengths of our community partners in exciting ways. We're thrilled to share our progress from the short time since we honed our strategic focus around the health needs where we can make the greatest impact. We're looking forward to continuing the momentum in the months ahead."

Sharon O'Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, said the report offers a snapshot of the many innovative initiatives and partnerships taking aim at the area's most critical health needs.

"Every day, the University of Chicago Medicine carries out its deep commitment to improve the health of our neighbors through meaningful community collaboration and excellence in clinical care," O'Keefe said. "I thank the faculty, nurses, staff, students and all their community allies for moving us closer to the vision of a healthier South Side."

The Community Benefit Report was mailed on Tuesday to about 45,000 people, including residents in the 60615, 60637 and 60653 ZIP codes, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences faculty and staff, and community and faith-based leaders. To view the report and the Community Health Needs Assessment online, visit To get a copy of the Community Benefit Report mailed to you, call 773-702-0025.