$308 Million Benefit to Community Reported by Lee Health

Report Discloses Increase in Community Benefits

(Fort Myers, Fla.—June 7, 2017) --- Lee Health’s Annual Statement of Community Benefit for fiscal year 2016 was recently published revealing $308 million (net) in community benefits by the health system – a benefit increase of more than $77,000,000 over 2015. The report is a national standard of measurement that determines a monetary value for the health system’s community commitment and the financial investments it makes to help strengthen health and human services. This $308 million contribution equals more than $843,000 every single day of the year. The increase was attributed to higher costs of charity care for low-income patients, unpaid Medicare, Medicaid and other government-sponsored programs.

“As one of the largest public health systems in the country, Lee Health continues to provide health care services without any direct community tax support,” explains Larry Antonucci, M.D., president of Lee Health. “Our presence also goes well beyond medical care. We contribute greatly through educational programs and local partnerships with a variety of organizations for the betterment of the entire community.”

Contributions include charity care and discounted care for the poor and uninsured, wellness programs, education, community health programs, unpaid Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the cost of providing special programs throughout the community.

As one of its many partnerships, Lee Health collaborates with the United Way in the Dunbar, North Fort Myers and Cape Coral offices of Lee Community Healthcare, which are available to low-income and underinsured families, providing much needed access to primary care within the community. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami, has provided support and education through the Child Advocacy Program to more than 95,000 people in Lee and Collier counties, including unintentional injury prevention and health education ranging from correct installation of child safety seats to classes to help parents learn and implement “building blocks” for strong child development.

Lee Health initiatives are also helping to bring a culture of wellness through various means such as free health fairs held in local schools, shopping centers, businesses and festivals; reaching people in the places where they live, work and play. The Healthy Life Center at Coconut Point offers services and education to support healthy lifestyles, early detection of disease and chronic disease management. It offers screenings, classes, workshops and seminars on a variety of wellness topics, and is staffed by personal health advocates and health guides who assist individuals in person to help navigate their health care needs.

More than 40 physicians and health professionals donate their time to Lee Health’s Speakers’ Bureau, connecting directly with patients through question-and-answer sessions held at local venues. Lee Health employees also donate thousands of hours each year through leadership roles on various boards of directors, chambers of commerce, social services agencies and organizations.

Community benefit calculations are over and above the economic value that organizations like the health system provide each and every year through jobs and benefits and reinvestment into facilities, technologies, clinical programs and services. The methodology for calculating is used nationally.

Lee Health continues to provide benefits to the community well in excess of the value of its tax exempt status. As a public, not-for-profit entity the health system was exempted from paying approximately $66 million in taxes for fiscal year 2016, an amount that is overwhelmingly outweighed by the $308 million the health system provided in net benefits given back to the community.

Not-for-profit hospitals and health systems are required to provide community benefit reports annually and to research community health needs every three years. Lee Health has been doing this for many years prior to such a requirement. The full report is available at: www.leehealth.org/about/community-benefit-report.asp

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org

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