Support for underserved communities

Aurora Health Care provides a wide range of support to medically underserved individuals and families throughout eastern Wisconsin. We believe that it is central to our mission as a not-for-profit health care system. More important, it is the right thing to do.

This support comes in many forms:

We are committed to providing access to health care services for all our communities. Our Helping Hand Patient Financial Assistance Program provides discounted health care services, making those services affordable and available to everyone. Anyone who does not have health insurance qualifies for some level of discount through this program up to, and including, free care based on income and assets.

Aurora provides the highest volume of uncompensated care* of any Wisconsin health care system. We provided more than $156 million in uncompensated care in 2005 alone. This financial commitment, when expressed in human terms, comprised 500,000 individual patient experiences in just one year - care that we provided in homes through the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association, at our hospitals and clinics, by physicians, nurses and caregivers to those people who cannot afford health insurance.

Each of Aurora's hospitals plays a role in providing care to underserved people in eastern Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, on the city's near south side, and Aurora Sinai Medical Center, downtown Milwaukee's only remaining hospital, offer nationally recognized tertiary and specialty medical programs and acute care services for people in the neighborhoods where each is located. Aurora has an ongoing commitment to our communities: St. Luke's and Aurora Sinai will continue to be important parts of the fabric of the diverse Milwaukee communities that each serves, in spite of the financial challenges inherent today in the operation of urban hospitals.

* In order to comply with IRS guidelines, not-for-profit health care systems report uncompensated care as charges to a patient rather than in terms of costs to the system. Aurora is currently working with other Wisconsin health care systems to develop an alternative benchmark to more accurately reflect uncompensated care. The $156 million figure represents bad debt and charity care.