Stress return on investment to maximize charity benefits

Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare has released a lengthy eBook providing tips on how hospitals and related providers can maximize their charity services.

The release of the 56-page eBook comes at a time when the Internal Revenue Service is looking closely at how providers provision charity care, and some state fiscal authorities are even revoking tax exemptions for hospitals. In Springfield, Ill., Hillsboro Hospital recently withdrew a request for a property tax exemption after state regulators began more closely scrutinizing such exemptions, The State Journal-Register reported.

"This project began with one question," Charles R. Evans, who chairs a Jackson program that cites the charitable work of other healthcare organizations, said last week in a statement. "Can hospitals more effectively measure and communicate a return on the charitable investments they make in their communities?"

The eBook recommends providers focus on direct patient outcomes rather than expressing charitable benefits in graphs, numbers or other representations. It also strongly stresses making the case for a return on investment for each charitable endeavor--how many dollars are returned in exchange for each dollar invested.

To learn more:
- download the eBook (.pdf)
- read the Journal-Register article
- here's the Jackson Health statement