The Impact of Philanthropy
May 08, 2023
Every day at Overlake, we hear words of gratitude from patients and their loved ones. They are grateful not only for the care they received that day, but also for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that lifesaving, compassionate care is there for them any day, any time, close to home.
Grateful community members often want to do what they can to help ensure that top-quality healthcare continues to be available here on the Eastside. But they have a question: “Healthcare is so expensive. Why do hospitals need to ask for donations?”
The complex and fragmented U.S. healthcare system often obscures the financial realities of the hospital industry. Some factors that impact hospital operations may be invisible to patients.
- The costs of replacing equipment can run into the millions, and the costs of adding new technologies may be even higher. The top-tier diagnostic and treatment capabilities that patients need, expect and deserve create ongoing expenses that are not factored into the cost of care.
- Government insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid provide reimbursement rates that are lower than the actual cost for some services.
- Like many other industries, hospitals face persistent staffing challenges. Nationwide, healthcare workers are still exiting the field. We still must have the people we need to care for patients, resulting in increasing labor costs.
- Supply and drug costs are at historic highs. While the lifesaving innovations in technology and therapeutics are nothing short of remarkable, the cost of these treatments rises each year.
- With reimbursement rates from government and private insurers rising much more slowly than labor, supply and drug expenses, nonprofit hospitals face significant challenges in maintaining their fragile financial balance, even in stronger economic times.
In spite of the challenges, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Overlake’s healthcare heroes are hard at work every day, caring for you, your loved ones and your neighbors. The completion of our campus renewal project means that we offer our outstanding and compassionate care in state-of-the-art facilities. Our workplace culture makes us an employer of choice in the region. And our exceptional performance in quality, safety and patient experience makes us an asset to the Eastside.
At the best of times, hospitals operate on thin margins. Contributions from our caring community help make it possible to overcome the financial hurdles we face now and stand ready to meet the future, whatever it may bring.
Thanks for asking.
To make a gift for the health of your community, visit overlakehospital.org/giving or call 425.688.5525.