Nonprofit hospitals face pressures on tax exemptions

As if nonprofit hospitals didn't have enough to worry about, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) are working together to address the issue of tax-exempt hospitals claiming tax breaks when they fail to treat patients without insurance, reports The Hill.

Exactly how the planned crackdown will work is still in the planning stages. However, "they [the lawmakers] agree the issue surrounding the tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals that requires a level of charity care needs to be examined," says Sharon Jenkins, Rush's communications director.

In other tax exemption news, nonprofit Morristown (N.J.) Memorial Hospital could be forced to pay annual taxes after a state court tax judge issued a partial summary judgment supporting the town's contention that certain parts of the hospital, including a café and rented physician office space, are subject to taxation, reports the Daily Record. The judge stated that "there is undisputed evidence" that some areas of the hospital are run as for-profit business enterprises. Morristown has estimated the valuation for the taxable parts at $34.7 million, which could cost the hospital as much as $800,000 in annual taxes. However, the exact amounts are still being litigated, and the hospital could appeal the ruling.

To learn more about the Grassley-Rush partnership:
- read The Hill article

To learn more about the Morristown Memorial situation:
- read the Daily Record article