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Meeting the Community Needs

Tomah Health is among Wisconsin hospitals and health care systems that provided a combined $1.9 billion in 2018 to support programs and services that affected the communities they serve.

The figure is part of the recently released Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) 2019 Community Benefits Report that highlighted programs, services and activities across the state that hospitals contributed free, as well as the financial assistance they provided to patients.

Tomah Health chief financial officer Joe Zeps said the local health care facility provided $5 million in benefits to Tomah and the surrounding communities this past year. “Tomah Health is very committed to giving back to the communities that we serve,” Zeps said. “We know that a great deal of the success that we experience here at the hospital is due to the support of the community and we are excited to be able to demonstrate how we can pay a little bit of that back to the communities that we serve.”

Zeps added that the WHA report does an “outstanding job of demonstrating the important role that Wisconsin hospitals play in supporting health and wellness across the state.”

The report describes efforts in which Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems are deeply involved, including community health education, community-based clinical services, health care support services, and social and environmental improvement activities. “Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems are much more than providers of nation-leading quality care,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said in the report. “They’re also vibrant members of the community, dedicated to ensuring overall health and well-being of the people they are privileged to serve,” Borgerding said.

WHA officials said hospitals and health systems ensure patients receive the care and treatment they need, even when they do not have the ability to pay, require emergency care they cannot otherwise afford, or when the hospital will not receive adequate reimbursement from the state Medicaid and federal Medicare programs for its services. “If it wasn’t for hospitals, many of these services would not exist in the community,” Borgerding said. “Government underfunding of social and safety net services remain significant challenges.”

In 2013, under a new requirement of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals were required to complete a formal community health needs assessment in partnership with public health and other community partners to assess, address and prioritize community health needs.

To Read the Full WHA Report, CLICK HERE

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