Intermountain Healthcare and its hospitals operate as charitable 501(c)3 institutions, and Intermountain provides a range of benefits to the community. Here are some frequently asked questions about charitable services provided by Intermountain facilities:
Q. What exactly does Intermountain contribute to the community in terms of charitable care to meet not-for-profit requirements?
A. In 2013, Intermountain hospitals and clinics provided more than $281 million (unadjusted) in assistance in more than 276,000 cases of people unable to pay, about $769,863 per day. (Charity care does not include bad debt, which exceeded $231 million in 2013.)
- Proportionately more. Analysis of data submitted to the Utah Tax Review Commission (in 2003) showed that Intermountain provides proportionately more charity care than other Utah hospital organizations, after adjusting for size. This trend was confirmed by information reported by The Salt Lake Tribune in a 2013 article.
- Definition of “charity care.” Charity care is defined as care provided to patients who are unable to pay. By contrast, “bad debt” is defined as uncollected bills from patients who are able to pay but who refuse to pay or submit documentation demonstrating need. To receive charitable financial assistance, patients need to provide information about their financial situations, working with one of Intermountain’s financial assistance counselors. Intermountain actively communicates its charity care policy to patients and others via signs, publications, website postings, advertisements, direct mail, and personal outreach.
Q. It’s no surprise that Intermountain provides the greatest amount and share of charity care because, after all, isn't Intermountain the largest provider in Utah?
Representatives of some for-profit hospitals often claim that, size-adjusted, they provide as much or more charity care as Intermountain. This assertion is false. For example, Intermountain studies of data submitted to the Utah Tax Review Commission by Intermountain’s largest for-profit competitor in Utah show that even after adjusting for size, Intermountain provided four times the amount of charity care provided by that competitor (analysis of 2001 and 2004 data).
Intermountain’s “theoretical” property tax liability—the amount it would owe in Utah property taxes if it were for-profit—is about $43 million (2013). This compares to the 2013 charity care amounts of about $281 million (unadjusted) or about $173 million (adjusted), as well as to the high value of other community benefits. Intermountain does pay property taxes for some facilities that are not tax-exempt hospitals, and those property tax payments were about $9.2 million in 2013.
Q. What does Intermountain do to meet the needs of underserved populations in Utah?
A. At the end of 2013, Intermountain owned and managed six community clinics for the low-income, homeless, and uninsured populations. These clinics provided care in more than 23,000 visits in 2013. Intermountain also provided financial and in-kind support to 19 independent medical clinics for the homeless and uninsured throughout the Intermountain region. These clinics provided care in more than 302,000 additional visits in 2013, for a total of more than 325,000 community clinic visits.
In 2014, Intermountain is transferring ownership of the Neighborhood Clinic at the Glendale Community Learning Center to Salt Lake Community Health Centers.
- Intermountain clinics include the Neighborhood Clinic at the Glendale Community Learning Center (being transferred in 2014 to Salt Lake Community Health Centers); the Pamela Atkinson Lincoln Elementary School Clinic; the Rose Park Elementary School Clinic; the North Temple Clinic (all in Salt Lake City); the Dixon Middle School Clinic (Provo); and the Cache Valley Clinic (Logan).
- Intermountain helps support the following independently owned clinics through grants, cash contributions, and in-kind services such as diagnostic lab vouchers:
- Salt Lake County: Salt Lake Community Health Centers (72nd Street; Stephen Ratcliffe; Central City; and Oquirrh View); Fourth Street Clinic; Hope Clinic; Mahliheh Clinic; Odyssey House Martindale Clinic; and Utah Partners for Health.
- Utah County: Mountainlands Community Health Centers (Provo and Payson); Volunteer Care Clinic.
- Washington County: Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic; Family Healthcare Clinic - St. George; and Millcreek High Health Center (all in St. George).
- Weber County: Midtown Community Health Center; and James Madison School Clinic (both in Ogden).
- Iron County: Family Healthcare Clinic (Cedar City).
- Summit and Wasatch Counties: People’s Health Center (Park City).
- Intermountain provides education and support groups to people in our communities, as well as professional health education to college-level students and Continuing Medical Education to community health providers, more than $33 million in 2013.
Q. Why do we hear about different foundations associated with Intermountain Healthcare, and what purpose do they serve?
A. Intermountain has two main foundations:
- Intermountain Community Care Foundation. This foundation provides financial support to community clinics, health services agencies, and projects serving the low-income and uninsured populations. (It is an endowment that was originally funded by Intermountain in 1996.) In 2013, the Intermountain Community Care Foundation provided more than $3 million in financial support to independent community clinics and other community agencies.
- Intermountain Healthcare Foundation. This foundation oversees fund-raising activities system-wide. To enhance these philanthropic activities, charitable foundations affiliated with Intermountain were restructured during 2011 and 2012. Now, community development boards operate under the aegis of the Intermountain Healthcare Foundation. These organizations are qualified to receive tax-deductible donations from individuals, community organizations, and corporations and help Intermountain provide charity care, leading-edge technology, research, and new facilities.