AHA makes headway on community-benefit reporting

The American Hospital Association has won broad support from the U.S. House of Representatives in its attempt to change the IRS's proposed community-benefit reporting rules. More than 300 members of the House are backing the AHA's campaign to change the IRS's proposed requirements, which would come as part of changes to the agency's Form 990 annual filing form for not-for-profits. 

While the IRS's current draft of Form 990 doesn't do so, the AHA would like to see the IRS include bad debt and Medicare losses as part of community-benefit reporting. In a letter to the IRS urging the changes, lawmakers are also asking the IRS to put off adopting the community-benefit reporting policy until 2010. Otherwise, it should go into effect as soon as early 2008.

The AHA may have some support for this effort, but it's worth noting that such protests have at least one major detractor as well. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has strongly challenged the hospital industry's efforts to frame charity reporting differently. Grassley has repeatedly called for investigations into whether not-for-profits are doing enough to merit their federal tax exemption.

To learn more about the debate:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
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IRS to investigate nonprofit hospitals. Report
Proving community benefit by reducing sickness. Report
A critical time to prove community benefit. Report
A new standard for voluntary hospitals? Report
VHA: Charity policy must come from the top. Report

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