From the Wall Street Jounal Health Blog:
The middle of a financial crisis isn’t an ideal time for any industry getting tax breaks to be the subject of an unflattering Internal Revenue Service report. And for nonprofit hospitals, the issue of whether they provide enough financial assistance to patients to justify their tax-exempt status has been a long-running point of contention.
The IRS report found that fewer than one-fifth of 489 nonprofit hospitals it surveyed accounted for 78% of the whole group’s spending on “community benefit.” That’s the term used to describe free care to the poor and other services such as educational programs that nonprofits — the majority of hospitals in the U.S. — provide in order to justify their tax-exempt status.
The agency also found that total compensation for the top official at each of the hospitals averaged $490,000 a year. It also took a closer look at a group of 20 large hospitals, and found among that group that the top executive’s compensation averaged $1.4 million a year.
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