Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured

The ability to pay for medical care shouldn’t stand in the way of good health. We provide compassionate, quality care to people in some of the poorest communities in Northern California, regardless of their financial circumstances or means.

“I cannot express how grateful I am there is a group of people out there willing to help!”—recipient of the “Gift of Surgery” program

Sutter’s Gift of Surgery program helps nearly 100 people in need get life-changing surgeries

Each year, Sutter Health provides millions in free or discounted medical care for patients in our communities who have no other means to get the care they so desperately need and deserve. Sutter Health affiliates throughout Northern California participated in the Gift of Surgery program, collaborating with organizations including Operation Access, RotaCare, Samaritan House and the Sierra Sacramento Physicians’ Initiative to Reach Out, Innovate and Teach to provide 72 elective surgeries to patients of local safety net clinics who could not afford them.

The gifted surgeries span myriad specialties including dermatology, gastroenterology, hand surgery, OB/Gyn, ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, urology and vascular care. Most of the surgeries were for non-life threatening issues that were causing discomfort or otherwise impairing the patient’s quality of life.

Hours donated by doctors

Hours donated by medical staff

Care team donates life-changing care to girl with cleft palate

Karah Echternacht was born in an ambulance on the way to Sutter. Because she was born with a cleft palate, she couldn’t get enough air and would choke when she ate. She was terrified, says her mom. A team of doctors, dentists and social workers who are a part of Sutter Health’s Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Panel corrected Karah’s birth defect and have provided her with coordinated, multidisciplinary care throughout her life. Today, Karah is happy to be an average teenager in high school. “They really do help anyone regardless of their ability to pay.”—Leah Echternacht, Karah’s mom says of Sutter Health

Investing millions to care for Medi-Cal patients

We believe that all people, regardless of their circumstances or means, deserve the highest quality medical care tailored to their unique needs. This is why Sutter Health cares for more Medi-Cal patients than any other health provider in Northern California. Because Medi-Cal only reimburses us 68 percent of the cost of providing care, we have invested $712 million more than the State of California paid in reimbursements in 2015. Caring for those who need a helping hand is at the heart of our not-for-profit mission—and is just the right thing to do.