AHA seeks tax form adjustment for community benefit reporting

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is pressing the Internal Revenue Service to improve the new hospital community benefit reporting form (Schedule H for Form 990). New research has found that Schedule H doesn't fully account for the community benefits provided by nonprofit multi-hospital systems, which represent almost 60 percent of hospitals nationwide.

Some nonprofit multi-hospital systems will report on a single Schedule H Form, but many are likely to file multiple, seemingly unconnected Schedule H forms, resulting in consequential reporting issues, according to research published in the March issue of Trustee magazine.

The probable outcome? Cross-subsidies used for community benefit activities might not be captured, which would distort the spending picture. In addition, expenses for entities other than hospitals must be included in the schedule, a requirement that also could impede the schedule's ability to give an accurate picture of multi-hospital nonprofits.

"Accurately capturing and comparing community benefit is the intent of the IRS; yet, without changes the role of systems will be obscured by Schedule H," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA.

For more information:
- read the AHA press release
- here's the Trustee magazine article