Statement from AdventHealth Sebring Medical Center

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With a sacred mission of extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth has been caring for the Heartland community for more than 70 years. In 2007, we helped Samaritans Touch open their clinic through financial support and hundreds of hours donated by AdventHealth's physicians, nurses and other clinicians. Initially, we were joined by other contributors including Highlands County, Highlands Regional Medical Center and others. As the years passed those other contributors ceased or severely lessened their contributions, so AdventHealth supplemented these financial shortfalls through our charity care programs.

For the past 11 years, AdventHealth chose to heavily fund this charity with more than $2.8 million in cash contributions and $4.4 million in free health care services to Samaritans Touch patients, in addition to countless clinical staff volunteer hours. In the most recent years, the support has totaled close to $1 million in cash support and services. Florida Hospital still expects to contribute to Samaritans Touch with more than $200,000 in care and continued guidance on their Board of Directors in 2019.

Clearly, in an ever-changing and challenging health care environment that has resulted in decreased reimbursement to hospitals from Medicare and Medicaid amounting to over $5 million in lost revenue for AdventHealth Sebring and Lake Placid, we must look for the best possible options to properly use our resources and provide care to our community. With almost 70% of Highlands County residents choosing Florida Hospital as their healthcare provider, we must examine each dollar spent to ensure the best possible outcomes. Today, the environment of health care is rapidly evolving, and we must adjust to ensure long-term viability and necessary growth of services to meet the changing needs of Highlands County.

Since the inception of Samaritans Touch 11 years ago, more options have emerged for patients that lack resources. We are always searching for the most cost-effective and safe health care solutions, while also increasing the amount of care and types of services provided. In 2019 Florida Hospital will be committing funds to expand the Sebring campus with more emergency department, obstetric and cardiology rooms plus a fourth catheterization lab, all much-needed services in this rural community.

It should also be noted that AdventHealth Sebring provided over $32 million in community benefit to Highlands County last year alone. Over the past five years, this totals more than $159 million. This is also reflective of AdventHealth Sebring being the largest employer in Highlands County and having an economic impact of over $250 million per year.

AdventHealth Sebring remains fully committed to serve our communities in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible, passing those savings along to our patients. This will be further evidenced by our tremendous growth in 2019 with updated facilities, services, and providers to ensure we remain the preferred healthcare provider in Highlands County, fully committed to our Mission for 70 years.

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