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2009-2010 Community Benefit Report

Memorial Hermann established the Community Benefit Corporation in 2007 to work with other healthcare providers, government agencies, business leaders and community stakeholders to ensure that all residents of the Greater Houston area have access to the care they need.

Since the creation of this corporation, we have put many local programs into place that are saving lives and helping us better manage our community’s healthcare resources. These innovative programs have helped our community in countless ways. They keep children healthy and in school. They extend care to parents so they can continue to provide for their families. They show the uninsured how to access available resources. They ensure emergency and trauma resources are used appropriately and are accessible for the critically ill and injured. We are very proud of the progress we have made, but we realize there is more to be done.

The Greater Houston region is home to one of the largest and most complex healthcare systems in the country, and is burdened by the highest uninsured rate of any major city. With the advent of health reform, how physicians and hospitals practice medicine and how people access care is changing. Under health reform, a significant amount of uninsured patients will qualify for Medicaid, with others soon gaining the ability to participate in new state insurance exchanges.

Despite the expansion of health coverage, a large majority of Houston’s current uninsured will not be covered under health reform. Experts estimate that 16 percent of Houston-area residents will remain without insurance, even after all the reform changes have been implemented. To complicate matters, state budget cutbacks are decreasing funding to vital health programs and reducing Medicaid reimbursements. These pressures make it very difficult for hospitals, outpatient facilities and physicians to provide care for the people of southeast Texas.

Through collaborative initiatives described in this report, we are working to make sure that the Houston community receives the focused healthcare it deserves. Together, we can build an infrastructure for the Houston and Harris County region that will ensure a healthy, productive workforce for years to come. We are proud to be a leader in Houston’s efforts to improve access to quality healthcare, and we are committed to helping for the future. We encourage you to learn more about how you can help us fulfill this commitment for our region.

Dan Wolterman
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

George R. Farris
Chairman of the Board (2007-2010)
Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation

View the 2009-2010 Community Benefit Report (PDF)