UCHealth provided $1.1 billion in community benefits including $388 million in uncompensated care in fiscal year 2022, serving patients and communities throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
UCHealth is committed to improving access to affordable, high quality care while also providing programs aimed at preventing serious medical conditions, addressing social determinants of health and other needs in the communities it serves. As the state’s largest provider of Medicaid services, UCHealth cared for 976,000 Medicaid patients in 2022, a number that has increased 378% since 2013.
An outside audit of UCHealth’s 2021 finances found the non-profit’s community benefits exceeded the value of its tax exemptions by almost $400 million. This and other factors led the Lown Institute to recently rank UCHealth among the nation’s best in social responsibility, community benefit, value and patient outcomes.
“While facing rising inflation and decreasing operating margins, UCHealth continues to stand by our commitment to give back to our patients and communities,” said Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth president and CEO. “By staying connected to those we serve, we are able to proactively prevent and address medical concerns through research, education and programs for all Coloradoans.”
In the past year, more than 2.7 million patients received care at a UCHealth facility. UCHealth’s priorities include increasing access to primary care providers and specialists, offering a robust virtual health platform and value-based care. UCHealth is also committed to expanding behavioral health services and will be bringing an additional 49 inpatient behavioral health beds to Colorado in 2023.
“From our work in Colorado and through our community health needs assessments (CHNAs), we have seen that suicide prevention and behavioral health care are two of the top priorities in our state,” said Elicia Bunch, UCHealth vice president of behavioral health. “UCHealth is addressing these needs by expanding our behavioral health services as well as through partnerships with law enforcement, support for programs that serve veterans and funding for crisis services.”
As the state’s only integrated community and academic health system, UCHealth is also dedicated to advancing research, developing innovative treatments and helping train future medical providers. To achieve these goals, UCHealth provided $291 million in support for the University of Colorado School of Medicine and its providers in 2022.
Some of the community benefits programs UCHealth provides include:
- The UCHealth Ascend Career Program funds free and reimbursed education opportunities for staff, beginning on day one of employment. The program also allows for a number of entry-level positions to be hired at UCHealth without a formal education. In addition, UCHealth partners with the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) to help community members obtain GEDs, training and job opportunities.
- Virtual behavioral health specialists and case managers in UCHealth emergency departments and hospitals connect patients with medical care and resources like housing and food assistance.
- UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital At-Risk Intervention and Mentoring (AIM) program provides intervention and mentoring in the emergency department to young victims of violent crime with the goal of preventing re-injury and reducing overall youth violence in the community.
- Robust co-responder programs partner behavioral health clinicians with law enforcement to respond to individuals who are having a mental health crisis. These teams provide immediate counseling, resources for continued care and intervention when a person is a danger to themselves or others. UCHealth partners with Collins Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, Colorado State University Police Department and beginning in 2023, Aurora Police Department, to provide these programs.
- UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central and Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad have teamed up to provide chemotherapy in Trinidad, eliminating a 129-mile, one-way drive to Colorado Springs. UCHealth prepares the medication in Colorado Springs and couriers it to Trinidad, where the patients receive infusions much closer to home.
- Sexual Assault and Forensic Nurse Examiners are available in many of UCHealth’s hospitals to help victims of violence get compassionate treatment they need while obtaining evidence for law enforcement. UCHealth also provides free education and technical assistance to nurses across Colorado for sexual assault exams and partners with 10 telehealth sites to provide teleSANE programs in rural/underserved communities.
- UCHealth supports the Comitas Crisis Center to assist homeless individuals and others recover from addiction, trauma and mental health issues, and CU’s DAWN clinic which offers free care to uninsured patients in the Aurora community.
- UCHealth hospitals in northern Colorado serve approximately 25,000 students through the Healthy Hearts and Minds program that introduces students to science-based information on cardiovascular health, nutrition, physical exercise and genetics, starting in first grade.
UCHealth does not receive any funding from the Colorado general fund, but it does contribute to numerous research programs and schools across the state. For more information about UCHealth’s impact to Colorado, please view the 2022 UCHealth Community Benefits Report. UCHealth’s uncompensated care numbers are based on results that were subject to an independent audit of financial statements.