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Benchmarks: Hospitals’ IRS Schedule H Community Benefit Reporting

Hospitals and systems allocated 12.3% of their total expenses toward community benefit in 2011, according to a new analysis of Schedule H filings. That’s up from 11.3% in 2009. [Tax-exempt hospitals report their community benefits to the IRS in a form called Schedule H.]

Community benefit expenditures covered charity care and financial assistance for patients, bad debt, absorption of underpayments from Medicaid and Medicare programs, community and population health improvement, underwriting of medical research and health professions education, and subsidization of high cost essential health services.

Benchmark community benefit costs are presented for systems and by hospital size, type, and location. Spending percentages are broken out for types of community benefits as well. Also benchmarked are practices on threshold use of federal poverty guidelines for determining free and discounted care for patients.

Source: Ernst & Young LLP. Results from 2011 tax-exempt hospitals’ schedule H community benefit reporting. American Hospital Association, Aug. 2014. http://www.aha.org/content/14/schedhreport.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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