About Us

The University of Michigan Health System is committed to improving and sustaining the health of the communities it serves. To this end, we offer a range of free and low cost services to the general community, with a focus on underserved and low income populations. Such programs and services, called Community Benefit, are designed to increase access to care and improve community health.


Every tax-exempt hospital is required to prepare a Community Benefit Report to justify their tax-exempt status. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) requires tax-exempt hospitals to conduct and publicly report a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and Implementation Plan every three (3) years.

These new requirements are designed to ensure that community benefit activities are responsive to priority community health needs identified, and are both measurable and transparent. Failure to comply with these requirements could lead to a $50,000 excise tax and possible loss of tax-exempt status.

The first UMHS CHNA and Implementation Plan was published in June 2013. In 2015-2016, for the first time, all nonprofit hospitals in Washtenaw County, Michigan collaborated to conduct a single Community Health Needs Assessment for the shared geographic region of Washtenaw County. The hospitals, Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Saint Joseph Mercy Chelsea, and the University of Michigan Health System, conducted a collaborative community health data collection and assessment process in partnership with Washtenaw County Public Health and area health coalitions; the process was facilitated by the Washtenaw Health Initiative.

In 2016, the three top health priorities were adopted by the approval bodies at each institution:

  1. Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder
  2. Obesity and Related Illnesses
  3. Preconceptual and Perinatal Health

CHNA and Implementation Plan

Current State of Community Benefit

In fiscal year 2016, the health system delivered more than $486 million dollars in unpaid services to our community through: uncompensated direct care for uninsured or underinsured patients; community outreach programs and services; professional and patient education; and funding for education and research to advance the practice of medicine. The following table summarizes this commitment:

Uncompensated Direct Patient Care


Community Health Programs/Services


Research Costs in Excess of Funding


Health Professions Education


Total Commitment to the Community