Carolinas HealthCare System is opposed to any elimination or reduction of tax refunds or exemptions for all not-for-profit organizations. Not-for-profit organizations are not the same as other organizations -- our missions are different. Many of our services make no financial sense and would be eliminated in a for-profit world. Carolinas HealthCare System already subsidizes the cost of care provided to a majority of patients by providing $284 million in financial assistance and discounts to uninsured patients. In addition, we provide care to Medicare and Medicaid patients well below the cost of the services and provide other vital community benefits such as medical education and research. These community benefits totaled over $1.25 billion in 2012 and were 19.6% of our operating expenses.
The free and reduced care provided through multiple outpatient community clinics to hundreds of thousands of the most at-risk patients in our region, as well as behavioral healthcare, are just a few of the many examples of services that are operated at significant losses. Access to these types of services could be negatively affected should more cuts continue. The refund was established by the state to provide a small amount of relief for our free and reduced care and services, and other community benefit.
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