Community Benefit

GHS uses guidelines set by the Catholic Health Association (CHA) that allows for equitable comparisons of community benefits among healthcare institutions. In recognizing the importance of community outreach in ensuring a high quality of life for all residents in the region, GHS offered support in a variety of ways during FY 2017 (October 2016-September 2017): For instance, the system was involved in over 250 diverse community events.

To help meet the medical needs of upstate citizens who have no healthcare coverage and cannot afford to pay for healthcare services, GHS provided over $49 million in charity and government-sponsored healthcare (at cost) in FY 2017.

Community benefit programs encompass community health services, education of health professionals, subsidized health services, research, and financial and in-kind contributions. In addition to offering health fairs, screenings and information sessions, GHS works with community groups and educational institutions to train healthcare workers and to ensure access to basic medical services for everyone.

Charity and Government-sponsored Healthcare Services $49.1 million
Support to the Community and Community Health Partners $94.9 million
Benefits Recognized by CHA $144 million

Medicare shortfall and bad debt (at cost) also are benefits that the health system provides. The Medicare shortfall represents $177.4 million of unpaid costs when reimbursement falls short of the actual cost of care. Bad debt, which totaled $96.8 million, occurs when patients are unwilling or unable to pay for services and do not seek charity care.

Medicare Shortfall $177.4 million
Bad Debt $96.8 million
Additional Benefits Recognized by American Hospital Association $274.2 million

Medication Assistance Program

One example of providing affordable care contained within the community benefit report is the Medication Assistance Program. The system’s Upstate Pharmacy division created Upstate MAP (Medication Assistance Program) in 2016. The goal is to improve patient health by providing access to free medications for those in need who cannot afford them. Upstate MAP also helps patients who have insurance but cannot afford their co-pay. Multiple funding sources are used, including manufacturer assistance programs, foundational funding and other patient advocate programs like Dispensary of Hope.

In keeping with our aim to create a healthier population, Upstate MAP staff (four pharmacy technicians and 0.25 of a pharmacist) work to meet patient-specific needs across the system’s four regions. In FY17, Upstate MAP provided assistance to more than 2,500 patients, generating over $6 million in medication and co-pay savings!

Medicare and Medicaid Participation

Since its inception, GHS has been committed to providing care for all Greenville County citizens. To fulfill this commitment, the system takes part in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

In FY 2017, GHS provided $349,454,187 in care for Medicaid patients and $780,696,158 in care for Medicare patients at our four Greenville County hospitals: Greenville Memorial, Patewood Memorial, North Greenville and Hillcrest Memorial (see below).

Total Charges Payor Mix by Total Charges
Private/Managed Care Insurance $506,873,877 29%
Medicaid $349,454,187 20%
Medicare $780,696,158 45%
Self-pay/Charity $87,775,247 5%
Grand Total $1,724,799,469 100%

GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail

To encourage healthy lifestyles and physical activity, GHS partnered with the Greenville County Recreation District several years ago to create the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. The paved trail continues to expand, experience heavy use and provide economic benefits to nearby businesses.

Each May, our system hosts the GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K in Travelers Rest. Approximately 5,000 people attended the 2017 walk/run, making it among the largest such events in the state!

Minority Health Summit

The 11th Annual Minority Health Summit was a great success with 1,000+ people in attendance—including youth. This free event seeks to increase awareness of major health disparities disproportionately affecting minorities. The focus this year was on diabetes and mental health, with a special emphasis on young people.

GHS works with minority leaders, churches and organizations to educate, empower and equip individuals to take control of their health through adopting healthy lifestyles. The summit included 200 free health screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure, and 50 community agencies were on hand to provide information and answer questions.

Project Rx Drop Boxes

Project Rx, a community collaborative dedicated to proper disposal of unused or expired medication, has added permanent drug disposal boxes at Greer Memorial Hospital and Hillcrest Memorial Hospital. Last fiscal year, Greenville Memorial Hospital and Oconee Memorial Hospital set up permanent disposal boxes.

This free service is open to the public and available 24/7 for discarding unwanted or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and veterinary drugs. Needles and syringes are not accepted.

Car Seat Inspection Site

A ninth car seat inspection station has been added in the Upstate. The Lake Cunningham Fire Department in Greer offers free car safety seat inspection services for expecting parents and parents of young children. All nine stations are sponsored by Safe Kids™ Upstate, a part of Children’s Hospital’s Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy.

Health Screenings

GHS hosts many free or low-cost community events each year, several of which include health screenings. Screenings follow National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and best practices. Anyone with an abnormal result is provided follow-up treatment.

For example, during Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, attendees made use of Ask-a Doc and Ask-a Pharmacist stations (125 participants total), underwent screenings for kidney (125), oral (125) and prostate (71) health; and had their cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure levels tested (300).

In addition, 4,508 Business Health participants were screened in FY17. Also, GHS employees and their covered spouses can undergo free health screenings to be part of the GHS Health Plan. In FY17, that number was 11,296.

Flu Shots

Each year, GHS administers flu shots for adults at multiple drive-thru and walk-in sites, including Greer, Simpsonville and Greenville. The shots are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Internally, GHS also dispenses influenza vaccines for free to employees and volunteers as a way to keep the community healthy. During last year’s flu season (October 2016-March 2017), 17,608 vaccines were administered to them.

2017 Annual Report Table of Contents