More on Form 990

From Modern Healthcare (free subscription required):

Four major healthcare organizations launched “to promote accurate and standardized reporting” to the Internal Revenue Service of hospitals’ subsidized aid to communities, including free and discounted care. The Healthcare Financial Management Association, American Health Lawyers Association, Catholic Health Association and VHA created the Web site as an extension of the 990 Coalition for Hospitals, which the four launched roughly six months ago, said Laura Noble, HFMA director of thought leadership and information services.

Form 990

From the Iowa Hospital Association Friday Mailing:

Late last year, the IRS released a final revised version of the Form 990 and 16 related schedules. The revisions were based upon three guiding principles: enhancing transparency; promoting tax compliance; and minimizing burden on the filing organization. Of particular importance is the new Schedule H that requires more details from all hospitals regarding community benefit and charity activities; billing and collections; joint ventures and management companies; operational policies and procedures; and facility information.

With these changes, the Form 990 can no longer be thought of as strictly a financial form. Input from administration, public relations, foundation and financial staff is essential to complete it.

Court Hears Arguments on Hospital Tax Exemption Case

From the Iowa Hospital Association Friday Mailing:

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court heard arguments this week on whether Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana should retain its property tax exemption. The Illinois attorney general has asked the court to reverse a lower court decision in favor of Provena and deny the hospital’s tax exemption.

The three-judge panel was very engaged and asked many questions, according to on-site reports. Responding to the first question from the court, the assistant attorney general said it was not necessary for the court to “draw a line” on how much charity care is required, arguing that the amount provided by Provena was simply not enough. Responding to a later question about the hospital’s activities, Provena’s counsel emphasized that “charitable” is broader than charity care and described for example the financial shortfalls the hospital assumes by serving Medicare and Medicaid patients as part of its charitable mission.

The hearing concluded with the court taking the matter under advisement; no date was given for a decision.