Serving Our Community By Improving Health
These six words sum up the healing mission of Valley Health. Our employees,
who work in six hospitals and multiple outpatient settings, help and heal
those in our care. But improving health involves so much more than what
takes place at the bedside.
Valley Health’s contributions extend to education, prevention and
partnering with others. It involves investment on a significant scale
to revitalize the region’s healthcare capacity and capabilities.
And it includes offering financial assistance to those with no or limited
ability to pay for care, and subsidies to state and federal governments
who pay below what it costs to provide services they authorize.
In 2014, Valley Health provided more than $158.7 million in care and services
classified as Community Benefit, Medicare reimbursement shortfall or bad
debt expense. We provided $56.5 million in care and services in 2014 that
the Internal Revenue Service recognizes as directly supporting our tax
exempt status. This surpassed our estimated tax liability by more than
Winchester Medical Center has long offered the broadest range of health
services in a 4,000 square mile area of northwest Virginia and the West
Virginia panhandle. But Valley Health’s focus is not on concentrating
care in one site, it is on supporting care where people live. Our investment
in health services across the region shows our commitment to care close to home.
Some of the most vulnerable hospitals in the country are designated as
critical access hospitals. They have 25 or fewer beds and face significant
challenges to operate on a breakeven basis and maintain aging buildings
and acquire technology. Valley Health has brought four critical access
hospitals into the system—three in the last three years. Our $60
million planned investment to build replacement hospitals in Romney and
Berkeley Springs, WV, and our opening of a new medical office in New Market,
VA, assures local access to care. The expansion project at Winchester
Medical Center will also add urgently needed critical care beds.
Charity Assistance Policy
Treating patients with dignity and respect regardless of their financial
status or ability to pay is a Valley Health commitment. We participate
in multiple financial assistance programs through local, state and federal
governments, including Virginia Medicaid and West Virginia Medicaid. Staff
helps patients and families work through the eligibility requirements
for these programs.
Charity Assistance Policy is used to provide free or discounted care. These discounts are
based on the patient’s income in relation to Federal Poverty Guidelines
(FPG). Patients whose income is up to three times the FPG may be eligible
for a discount on their Valley Health hospital bill.
Valley Health encourages patients to apply for financial assistance if
they believe they are unable to pay all or part of their care for medically
necessary services. In addition to offering financial counseling and help
with applications for government assistance programs, we can also establish
payment plans. Financial counselors can be reached at 866-414-4576 to
discuss our charity care policies.
Relief of Government Burden
Healthcare for the poor, the young, the elderly and the infirm is often
a responsibility shouldered by government. Rather than actually provide
services, governments typically opt to pay others to do it for them. Valley
Health is the conduit for care for thousands covered by government programs
including Medicaid and Medicare.
We relieve government—and taxpayers —of the responsibility
of creating and maintaining a healthcare infrastructure. At the same time,
government reimbursement is often less than the cost of providing patient
care. When governments do not adequately reimburse hospitals, efforts
are made to recoup those losses elsewhere if possible. The result is usually
an indirect tax increase which shows up in form of higher charges and
insurance premium increases.
Our commitment to education aids us in attracting, training and retaining
essential personnel. Partnering with 50 academic programs, Valley Health
supports clinical education for more than 700 students each year enrolled
in nursing, medicine, allied health, and vocational programs. Surgical
residents from Virginia Commonwealth University train in Winchester and
we support the Front Royal-based Shenandoah Family Practice Residency Program.
With a large nursing workforce, staff preceptors help students and new
nurses acquire skills and confidence. We also help cultivate the next
generation of bedside caregivers through a variety of scholarship programs.
In addition, CPR training is provided to the community and area health
providers. Valley Health also has programs that introduce middle school
and high school youth to potential careers. Our efforts benefit the community
and assist young people on the path to rewarding careers.
Valley Health has a responsibility to keep an eye on the future. We are
conducting a community health needs assessment across our service area
to find where gaps in services exist, and identify priorities for action.
We are working with Virginia and West Virginia health departments, the
United Way, and others to identify areas of concern.
Click here for a copy of the report.
(For a copy of the complete assessment, please email email@example.com.)
Valley Health provides comprehensive health resources to residents of northwest
Virginia and adjoining counties of West Virginia. Four hundred thousand
people live in proximity to Valley Health facilities and we touch many
of those lives each year. Our doors are always open and emergency assistance
is provided regardless of ability to pay.
We provided $56.5 million in care and services in 2014 that the Internal
Revenue Service recognizes as directly supporting our tax exempt status.
This surpassed our estimated tax liability by more than $21.8 million.
With bad debt expense, Medicare reimbursement shortfalls, and related activities
included, Valley Health’s total community benefit contribution climbed
to $158.7 million.
A not-for-profit health system must demonstrate that it fulfills its obligations
in exchange for the privilege of tax exemption. Our charitable efforts,
debt forgiveness policies, and investment in new facilities, equipment
and staff show convincingly that Valley Health is a reliable and generous partner.