The hospitals released their Community Benefit Reports outlining the value of contributions made through programming, services and other activities that fall under their not-for-profit mission.
PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center (MMC) and Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) released their Community Benefit Reports this week, demonstrating that the two hospitals provided a combined $555 million in total benefit to the Southern Maine community in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022. MMC reported a total community benefit of more than $481.6 million and SMHC reported a benefit of more than $73.5 million.
“Our Community Benefit Reports demonstrate just how much value our hospitals, clinics, and care team members create for our communities as part of our not-for-profit mission of providing care, educating tomorrow’s caregivers and researching new ways to provide care,” said MMC and SMHC Chief Medical Officer and Interim President, Joel Botler, MD. “From the countless hours spent on research and continuing education, to the exceptional care we deliver to patients, providing community benefit is at the core of our mission.”
The fiscal year community data is self-reported in accordance with federal guidelines and is required as part of both hospitals’ tax-exempt status. The accounting captures both mandatory and voluntary programs and contributions created in response to community need. Community benefit programs do not take the place of required taxes that MMC and SMHC pay at the local, state and federal levels.
MMC and SMHC made substantial efforts to improve the health of Southern Maine’s population, regardless of ability to pay, in FY 2022. MMC provided more than 20 percent of all charity care delivered in the state of Maine. The hospital partnered with Greater Portland Health in FY 2022 to open a new recuperative care facility, a short-term communal medical space that allows unhoused clients an opportunity to rest and heal in a safe, supportive environment. Additionally, MMC runs the Northern New England Poison Center, which provides Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont with toll-free telephone and internet-based consultations with health care professionals about toxic substances.
SMHC provided more than $4.6 million in free prescriptions and medication assistance through its MedAccess and CarePartners programs, and through CarePartners, connected 382 uninsured and under-resourced individuals with health care and other services. SMHC also collaborated with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to add a “Prescription for Health” program that offers prescriptions for bags of fresh produce to anyone in need. It is the largest public employer in York County and the largest employer in Biddeford.
MMC also helps fill the critical need for training of health care workers through its tuition-free Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Apprentice program, in affiliation with Portland Adult Education. During the 7-week, state-approved course, students who agree to work at MMC for at least one year are paid at a rate of $17 per hour plus benefits while they are in class and on clinical units. At the end of the program, students take the state CNA certification examination at no cost to them.
The hospitals attribute the greatest portion of their community benefit to the following programs: Health professions education, charity care and bad debt (unpaid balances); subsidization of government-payer programs that do not pay the full cost of care (Medicare and MaineCare); employment of providers, training and research; and subsidized health services such as specialized clinics, support services and behavioral health.
About Maine Medical Center
Maine Medical Center (MMC), recognized as a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News and World Report for 2023-2024, is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1868, MMC is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 700 beds and employing more than 9,600 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. For more information, visit www.mmc.org.
About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare organization with a non-profit mission “to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve.” SMHC includes a full service, acute care medical center in Biddeford, with York County’s only inpatient mental health unit. Emergency care, surgical services and diagnostic and therapy services are available at SMHC’s Medical Centers in Biddeford and Sanford. SMHC offers primary care and multi-specialty physician services, diagnostic and therapy services and Walk-In Care centers in York County communities including Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and has been recognized for quality excellence by numerous outside organizations. SMHC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. To learn more, visit www.smhc.org.