Source: Jenny Gold, NPR, All Things Considered, April 27, 2012
…Duff, 27, was likely eligible for free care under the Mount Carmel Health System’s financial assistance policy, which offers medical care at no charge for patients earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level…. Duff is one of nearly 1,600 people Mount Carmel sued in county court between 2009 and 2011. Most of them were patients like Duff who did not pay their medical bills, though not all were poor….
…Nonprofit hospitals, including Mount Carmel, pay no federal, state or local taxes, giving them a competitive edge over their for-profit counterparts. In return, nonprofits are expected to offer a community benefit, including free and discounted care for low-income patients.
But despite the requirement, a study by the Congressional Budget Office found that on average, not-for-profits provide only slightly more uncompensated care than for-profit hospitals….
…Meanwhile, some states are taking matters into their own hands. In the past year, Illinois has revoked the state tax exemption for three nonprofit hospitals that the state Department of Revenue determined were not doing their share of free care….
5 Ill. hospitals pull requests for tax exemptions
Source: Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press, April 4, 2012
Five Illinois hospitals have withdrawn their applications for tax exemptions, leaving it up to county governments whether to assess taxes on the properties…. The withdrawals from the five hospitals come as Illinois leaders grapple with a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court ruling on hospitals and taxes. The court found that an Urbana hospital wasn’t doing enough charity care to qualify for a property tax exemption. That ruling called into question other hospitals’ tax exemptions….
…Last year, the Illinois Department of Revenue cited the high court’s ruling when denying property tax exemptions to three hospitals: Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur. Cook County has moved to tax the Northwestern women’s hospital….
Most N.C. hospitals are slim on charity care / In some of poorest counties, it’s hard to get forgiveness on bills
By Ames Alexander, Joseph Neff and Karen Garloch, Charlotte Observer, April 22, 2012