Bill to require nonprofit, for-profit hospitals same disclosure rules

In a move to standardize financial transparency for nonprofit and for-profit hospitals in New Jersey, the state's Senate's Health Committee yesterday approved a bill that would require for-profits to publicly disclose the same financial information that nonprofit entities must file with the Internal Revenue Services, reported The Star-Ledger.

Like their not-for-profit counterparts, the bill would require for-profit hospitals to report their operating budget, business holdings and executive compensation, among other financial data, to the state Department of Health and Senior Services to receive charity care funding. The hospitals also must post the information to their own websites.

For-profit hospitals receive charity care from New Jersey to cover some of the uncompensated care they provide to uninsured and low-income patients, NJ Spotlight noted. Given that public funds finance charity care, "we should have the right to see how that funding impacts them, and how much money the hospital is actually making," Joseph Scott, CEO of nonprofit Jersey City Medical Center, told the newspaper.

Although the New Jersey Hospital Association encourages increased transparency, it has not backed the bill. "We are mission-driven, and if hospitals provide the quality of care that patients deserve and expect, their tax status is irrelevant," Randy Minniear, New Jersey Hospital Association senior vice president of government relations and policy, told NJ Spotlight.

For more information:
- check out the bill (.pdf)
- read the Star-Ledger article
- read the NJ Spotlight article