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Cleveland Area Hospitals Spent 8% to 18% On Community Benefit in 2018

In order to maintain their tax-exempt status, nonprofit hospitals must annually report on their activities and investments that contribute to the health of their surrounding communities. This is known as community benefit spending.

In 2018, the Cleveland Clinic spent $1 billion on assisting low-income patients as well as on things like research and community outreach. This represents 12% of their total operating revenue.

University Hospitals spent $383 million — or 9% of their operating revenue — on similar activities, and Summa Health spent 8%, amounting to $110 million.

MetroHealth used 18% of their operating revenue — $219 million — on community benefit, but with a focus on programs that address upstream health issues like jobs and housing.

In a City Club forum earlier this year, CEO Akram Boutros urged the city’s major hospital systems to change their focus from curing diseases to preventing poor health outcomes in the first place.

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