University of Chicago Medicine Devotes 21% of Revenues to Community

University of Chicago Medicine Devotes 21% of Revenues to Community

June 1, 2012

The University of Chicago Medicine contributed more than $237 million in programs and services to improve health on the South Side and beyond in the last fiscal year, according to the medical center's first community benefit report, which was just released.

Overall, the community-related contributions amounted to 21.4 percent of the total operating revenues for the University of Chicago Medical Center in the year ended June 30, 2011. The published report highlights the myriad ways the Medical Center has served the community by supporting patient care and subsidizing programs, medical education and research, among other initiatives.

"We are proud of our long-time commitment to serve the community in which we work and live and we hope that our annual community benefit report will help to better tell that evolving story," said Sharon O'Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center. "None of the benefits it documents would be possible without the teamwork of our faculty, students and staff."

The community benefit report comes as legislation that broadens the definition of hospital charity care heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the bill. The state Senate this week joined the House in passing the bill, which allows hospitals to include Medicaid losses, unreimbursed medical research costs, charitable donations and educational programs, among other items, when seeking exemption from property taxes. Under current law, the state considers only a non-profit hospital's charity care and services when determining property tax exemption.

Of the $237.1 million in community benefits, $100.7 million went to cover losses under Medicare and $37.7 million under Medicaid, both government-sponsored health insurance programs that reimburse hospitals at a much lower rate than the cost of care. The Medical Center also provided $14.4 million in free or discounted care to those patients with significant financial hardships.

The medical center also contributed nearly $45 million to support medical education expenses not covered by tuition grants and scholarships to train future health professionals. An additional $23 million supported medical research that focuses on prevention, detection and treatment of disease. The remaining $16.3 million went to cash and in-kind contributions, unrecoverable patient debt and other community benefits, such as subsidized health services and support for interpreters.

The report, which covers the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, was mailed out to 55,000 people, including area residents, as well as to Medical Center and University employees, government officials and community leaders.

WANT THE REPORT? A PDF of the University of Chicago Medicine's community benefit report is available online at Or call 773-702-0025 to have one mailed to you.