AHA files brief in favor of Provena

The case of Provena Covenant Medical Center, the Illinois hospital that lost its state property tax exemption when officials decided it wasn't providing enough charity care, continues to hold the attention of the hospital industry. The latest sign of this comes from the American Hospital Association, which just filed a brief with the Illinois Supreme Court defending Provena and vilifying state officials. The association contends that state officials were out of line when they yanked the exemption, and failed to follow state and national precedents. What's more, they contend that if every Illinois not-for-profit was subjected to similar scrutiny, it could jeopardize access to care in the state.

Provena's case, which has worked its way through the courts for several years, should be heard this spring by the state Supreme Court. The dispute goes back to 2002, when local officials decided that the hospital hadn't done enough to justify its state property tax exemption, given that it provided only $831,724 in free care and got a $1.1 million property tax exemption.

The AHA, for its part, contends that state revenue officials should have taken Provena's uncompensated-care costs and outreach programs.

To learn more about Provena and the AHA:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
Provena Covenant's tax exemption in jeopardy again
IL hospital loses high-profile tax case
Charity care under fire