Tuesday, August 14, 2012
In Nonprofit Hospitals Face State Hearing on Tax-Exempt Status, the Los Angeles Times reports that a California state auditor's report reveals a lack of definitive standards for reporting charity care by nonprofit hospitals. This issue, among others, will be taken up by a California Senate committee at a hearing tomorrow “as part of the debate over whether nonprofit hospitals do enough to justify their tax-exempt status,” says the Times. As another stanza in what is becoming a familiar song from sea to shining sea, the story continues:
California law requires most tax-exempt hospitals to submit information annually on their "community benefits" through free or partial charity care and other means.
But state law doesn't require nonprofit hospitals to deliver specific amounts of uncompensated care and other community benefits in order to qualify for their tax-exempt status, according to state auditors.
For their part, as is often the case, hospitals reportedly are noting that, in addition to providing free care to the uninsured, they provide millions of dollars in care that is not fully compensated through government health programs.