OHA releases community benefit report on Oregon hospital spending

$67 million spent in fiscal 2015 on direct community improvements and benefits

SALEM—Oregon hospitals provided $1.9 billion in community benefits in fiscal 2015, a 1 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Community Benefit Report from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). 

Whether paying for research, sponsoring local Little League teams or building new facilities, hospitals in Oregon spend money each year to benefit their communities. Since 2007 the Oregon Health Authority has been tasked with gathering and publishing data on how Oregon hospitals are providing their community benefit. 

“This report provides insight for the public and Legislature on how Oregon’s hospitals are using community benefit dollars and this is a great tool to showcase the assistance that Oregon hospitals are providing to local communities,” said Lynne Saxton, Oregon Health Authority Director. “This report also demonstrates that the proportion of total community benefit is steadily increasing in the unreimbursed costs of Medicare and Medicaid.”

Key information in the report released today includes:

  • The majority of the $1.9 billion in community benefits in fiscal year 2015 came from large urban hospitals, which account for $1.7 billion.
  • $67 million was spent on direct community improvements and benefits (e.g., community health improvement, in-kind cash, and community building) which accounts for 4 percent of total community benefit.
  • Over 70 percent ($1.3 billion) of total community benefit was provided through unreimbursed costs for Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Charity care has dropped 37 percent since 2014 to $157 million.

Oregon’s 60 acute care hospitals are subject to the reporting requirements for community benefit. However, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield and Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville are for-profit hospitals and therefore have no obligation to provide community benefit because they are subject to property and income taxes. 

Hospitals report the data used to compile the annual community benefit document directly to OHA.

Link to Community Benefit Report: 


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