Client Alert

Tax-Exempt Hospitals Face New Community Benefit Requirements

June 21, 2010

James Owens, Stephen Turanchik, & Gayl Westendorf

I. New Requirements Imposed by Health Care Legislation

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), enacted March 23, 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-148, Congress passed new Internal Revenue Code section 501(r), which requires tax-exempt hospitals to:

  • conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through such assessment;

  • establish a financial assistance policy relating to emergency medical care;

  • limit amounts charged for emergency and other medically necessary care that is provided to individuals eligible for assistance under the organizations financial assistance policy to not more than the amounts generally billed to individuals who have insurance covering such care;

  • and forgo extraordinary collection actions against an individual before the organization has made reasonable efforts to determine whether the individual is eligible for assistance under the organizations financial assistance policy.

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