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Frequently asked questions

What does not-for-profit mean?
Being not-for-profit means that patients, their families and the communities we serve are our number one priority. Unlike for-profit organizations that have to answer to shareholders, we reinvest every dollar we make back into patient care, facilities, technology and our workforce.

How was Geisinger able to make more than $127.9 million last year?
We have long been focused on innovative approaches to providing quality and value for our patients and health plan members. Innovative programs such as ProvenHealth Navigator (our version of patient-centered, advanced medical home), Transitions of Care and ProvenCare ensure best practice, quality and efficient healthcare services. This consistent attention to quality and value, our efforts to make Geisinger care available close to where people live and work, and the overall effort of our employees results in operational and financial success.

What does Geisinger do with its money?
As a not-for-profit healthcare system, we proudly reinvest earnings where they belong-back into the health system and the community. For example:

  • We have invested more than $1.8 billion in capital expenditures over the past decade.
  • Our community investment is extensive. We provided $580.2 million in community support in fiscal year 2016, in the form of free, uncompensated care to patients who could not afford to pay; the provision of care for the elderly and the poor not paid by Medicare or Medicaid; allied health, residency and fellowship educational programs; healthcare research; community health, education and outreach programs; and more.

How does Geisinger's success benefit the community?
Organizations must contribute five percent of their operating expenses to community support to be considered a charitable institution in Pennsylvania. Our success enables us to contribute much more than is required. Our community support in fiscal year 2016, for example, is approximately 14.66 percent of our operating expenses - nearly three times what is required to meet the state's standards as a charitable mission.

With the current difficult economic conditions, would Geisinger consider charging patients and members less?
We are always evaluating how to provide patients and members the most value for their healthcare dollar, and work daily toward being as efficient and cost effective as possible. We treat people regardless of their ability to pay, and provide care at reduced and free rates every day. Just last year, we provided $399 million in care to the elderly and the poor that was not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, and another $57 million in free, charity care to patients who could not afford to pay.

Geisinger Health Plan offers a variety of coverage options for those with varying financial resources, and collaborates with clinicians throughout the region to ensure members are reaching their optimal health. This helps to reduce costs and keep members healthy and out of the hospital.

Why is Geisinger merging with other hospitals?
As hospitals throughout our region struggle with declining reimbursements and the challenging economy, many are looking for ways to partner with strong organizations like Geisinger. Through mergers and partnerships with select organizations that share our commitment to patients and quality, we are strengthening community assets and the area's healthcare delivery system.

We are investing in partnerships that make sense for central and northeast Pennsylvania, and in New Jersey with the addition of AtlantiCare, helping to ensure a strong not-for-profit regional system continues to meet the needs of patients and the community-including Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, Holy Spirit Hospital - A Geisinger Affiliate in Camp Hill and AtlantiCare in New Jersey. Our physicians also provide specialty services in hospitals and communities throughout the region, and we are utilizing our expertise in telemedicine to provide long-distance care for the sickest patients in locations such as Lewistown and Schuylkill County.

What is Geisinger's primary focus?
Everything we do is about caring - for our patients, our members, our Geisinger family of physicians and employees, and our communities. Since our founder Abigail Geisinger first said, "Make my hospital right, make it the best," nearly a century ago, our primary focus has always been doing what is right and best. While we do work to be cost-efficient-as every responsible organization does-we never do so at the expense of quality care, and we work daily to ensure quality and value for all that we serve.