2nd year of Schedule H filings show many ways hospitals benefit communities

AHA News Now

Hospitals spend an average of 11.6% of their total expenses on benefits to their communities, according to a new report by Ernst & Young. Based on data from filed Schedule H forms representing more than 900 not-for-profit hospitals for tax year 2010, the estimate includes benefits such as free care and other financial assistance, Medicaid underpayments, community health improvement programs, health research and education, subsidized services, Medicare shortfalls and other community benefit and building activities. Starting in 2009, not-for-profit hospitals were required to file Schedule H with the Internal Revenue Service to show the benefits they provide to their communities. For two consecutive years, AHA has worked with Ernst & Young to collect and analyze the Schedule H data to better understand the diverse ways hospitals serve their communities. "The report demonstrates that, measured in dollars alone, hospitals of every size, type and general location are not only meeting, but are exceeding, the community benefit obligations conferred by their tax-exempt status," AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock states in the report. "A form filed with the IRS – even one as complicated as Schedule H – can never convey the full measure of the benefits a hospital provides to its community. That is why AHA believes that communities themselves are in the best position to determine whether the benefits provided by their local hospital match their needs and aspirations." The report is available at http://www.aha.org/scheduleh.

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