AHA urges flexibility in implementing new tax-exempt rules

AHA News Now

Hospitals are committed to the goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's tax-exemption provisions, but the proposed rules for implementing the provisions are too prescriptive and prevent hospitals from using the most efficient and effective means to meet the requirements in their communities, the AHA today told the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service. "Rather than prescribing uniformity, we urge you to allow hospitals flexibility for how they meet the requirements with full disclosure of the policies and procedures each hospital will use to carry out the law," wrote AHA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Melinda Hatton commenting on proposed regulations implementing Section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, AHA said the regulations should take effect no earlier than Jan. 1, 2014 to allow time for hospitals to incorporate forthcoming changes due to the ACA's Medicaid expansion and implementation of health insurance exchanges into their financial assistance programs. AHA also requested "meaningful" enforcement guidance before the release of the final regulations, noting its absence in the proposed rule, and a public hearing on the impact of applying the regulations to government 501(c)(3) hospitals.

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