UC Davis Health is part of a public institution, the University of California, and there are a number of publicly available reports that show how we give back to the community and work to improve the health of underserved populations, as well as the health of all Californians.
We're proud to be actively involved in advancing health and health care throughout the Sacramento region. All nonprofit hospitals must conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (PDF) every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through that process. The resulting implementation plan (PDF) enables UC Davis Health to help address many of these identified health needs, with the goal of improving the health status and reducing the health disparities of the communities we serve.
UC Davis Health contributes expertise and funding to community programs that elevate the health of our entire community. Projects are selected that bridge gaps in access to care, improve patient outcomes and diversify the health professions. Read about some of this work in our inaugural Community Benefit Report (PDF).
Standard charges for UC Davis Health services are made available here for your review. Hospital pricing is complex, in part because most health insurers require significant discounts in the prices they pay for their members’ services as part of agreeing to a contract with a hospital. The listing of average charges is called the “charge master.”
Federal Consumer Price Transparency Requirements
There are multiple challenges that prevent providing a simple ‘insurer price’ or ‘cash price’ for health care costs. UC Davis Health prices with health insurance plans are varying and changeable. Factors outside of our control impact prices, including the type of health plan a person has, what the person (or family group) has already paid for the year (to us and to others), and where and when a procedure is completed (among other variables).
We know this isn’t helpful to patients who want to understand costs in general, but this is how hospitals and health systems are currently paid by third-party payors. For first-party party or cash payors, we often waive charges or bundle charges together, again depending upon the circumstances, so the prices for patients vary from situation to situation. As a not-for-profit health system, our goal is always the lowest possible bill for the patient.
We agree price transparency is a good thing, which is why we do report prices where we can, and it’s why we work with patients both before and after a visit, so we can be transparent and fair about the prices paid. The current state of the financing of health care is highly complex, with many different payers, multiple different sources of reimbursements, and government programs that do not fully cover the costs of providing care. Taken together these factors unfortunately turn a simple ‘what does this cost’ question into a very complicated ‘it depends’ because the answer varies based upon between multiple factors which are different for each patient and situation.
To help with consumer price transparency, the easiest solution we offer is our Guest Estimator. This allows us to determine patient-specific and situation-specific costs so patients are able to understand their potential costs before moving forward with any procedure or treatment.
The 340B prescription drug program supports UC Davis Health’s role as a safety-net provider and it plays an important role in our ability to offer vital health care services for the communities we serve. The program is narrowly tailored to only hospitals that provide a high level of services to low-income individuals or that serve isolated rural communities.
This short report serves as an overview of the health system’s commitment to serving the underserved in FY 2020.
It also provides background into the challenging health care payment and policy landscape in which the system operates, and challenges common myths about UC Davis Health access for underserved populations and health care prices.
We work hard to increase transparency in our patient safety data to help empower you to make the best decisions about your care. The Quality Transparency Dashboard is designed to provide clarity into how UC Davis Health is performing in comparison to hospitals across California and the entire nation. The dashboard displays outcome and program status measures among five key quality-of-care metrics.
A hospital is built to provide care for patients and it serves all people who come there and need care. However, every hospital is limited in how many people it can help at any one time, based upon a number of factors including number of beds, number of doctors and nurses, and many other variables. Many hospitals in California, especially regional trauma centers like UC Davis Medical Center, regularly operate at levels near capacity, due to a high level of expertise and ongoing everyday needs for patient services. While every hospital hopes this never happens, it is possible events generate more need for services than a hospital can support. This is called a patient surge and it may be caused by things such as a large mass casualty incident or a pandemic.
When events cause the number of patients to overwhelm a hospital’s ability to treat all patients who come in, Crisis Standards of Care may be used. Crisis Standards of Care are developed before any incident, to provide guidance for health care workers during the incident, and to provide a way for the hospital and health care teams to do the best they can in difficult circumstances. As part of the University of California Health system, UC Davis Health participated in developing system-wide Crisis Standards of Care as part of a system-wide Bioethics Committee. The standards were reviewed and endorsed by all of UC Health system management, Crisis Response Teams, UC Chancellors, the UC President and the Standards have been presented to the UC Board of Regents. The final UC-wide working group report is available online and it informs how Crisis Standards of Care would be implemented here at UC Davis Health, as the regional trauma center for 33 counties in Northern California, should significant external events make this necessary.
The financial reports of the University of California’s five health systems, including UC Davis Health (Medical Center). Includes estimated cost of charity care, estimated cost of excess of reimbursement for patients under public sponsored programs, as well as other community benefits.
* In compliance with Chapter 2 of Division 2, commencing with Section 1339.50 of the California Health and Safety Code, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Fiscal Year 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule, 83 Federal Reg. 41144.