Memorial Health, which includes Springfield Memorial Hospital, was one of the top 25 nonprofit hospital systems in the nation whose spending on patient financial assistance and community investment exceeded the value of their tax exemptions.
The national ranking, known as the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, listed the Springfield-based health system as 15th in the nation for “fair share” surplus, meaning its patient financial assistance and community investment exceeded the total of its tax breaks. It was the only health system in Illinois to be listed among the top 25 nationwide.
“We take seriously our commitment to give back to our community,” said Chuck Callahan, president and CEO of Springfield Memorial Hospital and president of Memorial Health Hospital Group. “This ranking shows that we are living our values of integrity and stewardship. We have been entrusted with ensuring that our community is resourced in ways that address the social determinants of health and improve lives.”
One example of that commitment is the nonprofit hospital’s funding of a portion of the strategic plan to address homelessness in Sangamon County, an equity-focused alliance with several partners.
The think-tank’s report said Memorial Health spent $31 million more on patient financial assistance and community investment than it received in tax breaks. Memorial Health was one of five nonprofit health systems in the state to have a “fair share” surplus.
“We believe we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our resources as we work toward our mission to improve lives and build stronger communities through better health,” said Ed Curtis, president and CEO of Memorial Health. “This national report shows our priorities are in the right place to fulfill that mission.”
The Lown Institute calculated the “fair share” spending for more than 1,800 hospitals across 275 nonprofit health systems based on their 2019 IRS Form 990 filings.
Illinois ranked 46 out of all 50 states for fair share spending. Nationally, out of the 275 health systems evaluated, only 48 spent more on patient financial assistance and community investment than the estimated value of their tax breaks.