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Charity Care Shortfalls

Providence St. Joseph reneges on charity care commitment

When Providence Health and Services and St. Joseph Health merged to form Providence St. Joseph Health, then California Attorney General Kamala Harris imposed numerous requirements on the company including that 13 of its hospitals provide a combined $72 million per year in charity care.

However, 11 of those 13 Providence St. Joseph hospitals failed to meet their charity care requirements during the first year following the merger, according to reports they filed last year with state officials. In total, the 13 Providence St. Joseph hospitals fell more than $20 million short of providing the required charity care, even though they reported a combined $431 million operating profit last year.

While Providence St. Joseph executives claim that their hospitals see fewer uninsured patients visiting emergency rooms because of the Affordable Care Act, they have refused to acknowledge that charity care isn’t just for uninsured patients. Providence St. Joseph could honor its charity care obligations by lowering hospital bills for low-income patients and patients with high deductible insurance policies that barely cover hospital costs.

But instead, Providence St. Joseph has not only refused to honor its charity care obligation, it has actually sought to have it reduced. Last year, St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Providence St. Joseph hospital in Apple Valley, California, petitioned Harris’ successor, Attorney General Xavier Becerra to reduce its annual charity care obligation from $7.7 million to $2.2 million. The hospital claimed it was losing money caring for previously uninsured patients who had become eligible for Medi-Cal. However, St. Mary’s reported a $49 million operating profit in 2017 and a $232 million operating profit dating back to 2010.

“It’s unconscionable for a nonprofit hospital that makes so much money to request permission to dramatically reduce its charity care,” said Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

After reviewing Providence St. Joseph’s financial reports, the National Union of Healthcare Workers wrote a letter to Becerra requesting that he force Providence St. Joseph to comply with its charity care obligation.

“There is no excuse for Providence St. Joseph not to satisfy its charity care obligation, especially when its hospitals are recording healthy profits,” Rosselli said.

Find Out How Much Your Providence Tarzana Hospital Skimped on Charity Care

Hospital Required Charity Care Delivered Charity care Difference Operating Profit
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center (Los Angeles) 3,876,440 1,807,155 (2,069,285) 32,773,294
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center (Los Angeles) 5,740,594 6,241,667 501,073 50,526,853
Providence Tarzana Medical Center 1,618,304 950,435 (667,870) ($10,676,163)
Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro 1,710,053 1,961,786 251,733 10,257,146
Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance 4,695,449 2,304,704 (2,390,746) 24,449,803
St. Joseph of Eureka 2,061,068 1,505,591 (555,477) 43,824,982
Redwood Memorial Hospital 812,495 571,377 (241,118) 8,654,511
St. Jude Medical Center (Orange County) 7,401,427 5,248,676 (2,152,751) 35,212,080
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital 6,627,886 4,509,782 (2,118,104) 70,172,009
Queen of the Valley Hospital (Napa) 2,975,670 1,998,603 (977,067) 4,178,971
St. Mary Medical Center (Apple Valley) 7,772,603 2,269,371 (5,503,232) 49,422,660
St. Joseph Hospital (Orange County) 9,243,620 6,754,303 (2,489,317) 53,130,652
Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center 7,429,627 7,045,958 (383,669) 59,952,131

Total Operating Profit: 431,878,929

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