Battle to define community benefits, minimum charity levels continues

While it hasn't gotten a lot of publicity in recent weeks--overshadowed by the birth of the stimulus package, no doubt--the battle to crack down on community benefit measures and minimum spending levels for charity at non-profit hospitals is far from over.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) are still on the case, despite failing to get uncompensated care and charity care standards inserted into the stimulus bill.

In their efforts to amend the stimulus bill, the Senators hoped to see CMS, the IRS and MedPAC work together to develop a standard definition for uncompensated and charity care. They're now working on a bill that would make the same changes.

Grassley continues to argue that neither the IRS nor Congress has done a good job in establishing criteria for the tax exemption not-for-profits now enjoy. He suggests that if Congress doesn't establish new charity care requirements, the IRS should revert to its community benefit standard last in force in 1969.

To learn more about Grassley and Bingaman's plans:
- read this InsideARM article

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