Florida's hospitals contributed $4.9 billion in benefits and services to their communities that go beyond the provision of direct health care, according to the Florida Hospital Association's 2020 Community Benefit Report.
This community benefit investment includes:
$3.9 billion in free care for low-income patients.
$390.5 million in services associated with health professional education, workforce development, and research.
$642.1 million in community health improvement and community building activities.
The 2020 Community Benefit Report highlights 27 hospitals and programs that demonstrate how hospitals go beyond their walls to improve lives and strengthen communities. The report also gives specific examples of several hospitals' COVID-19 efforts, from phone lines to reduce loneliness among isolating elderly to helping local businesses reopen safely.
Florida's hospitals work with stakeholders and community partners to identify, prioritize and address critical health care needs in their local communities through regular community needs health assessments. This collaboration with local partners has led to stronger communities with better health outcomes.
Community benefit is a well-defined and long-standing federal standard for non-profit hospitals. Hospitals report their spending annually using the IRS Form 990 Schedule, and the IRS strictly defines what counts as community benefit: improving access to health care services, enhancing the health of the community, advancing medical or health knowledge, or relieving or reducing the burden of government or other community health efforts.