Grassley wants charity care standards in stimulus

Working with another member of the Senate Finance Committee, perennial not-for-profit hospital critic Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is offering two amendments to the massive stimulus bill that should increase federal scrutiny of their level of charity care.

Grassley, along with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), has proposed that the IRS, CMS and Medicare Payment Advisory Commission work jointly to develop standard definitions of "uncompensated care" and "charity care." He and Sen. Bingaman also want to force the IRS to do an in-depth study of for-profit hospitals to see how much charity care they provide.

Regardless of whether these amendments succeed, observers still expect Grassley to introduce a measure that will set a specific minimum level of community benefit that not-for-profit hospitals must provide to keep their tax exemption. As of 2006, not-for-profit hospitals devoted only 0.6 percent more of their total operating expenses to uncompensated care than investor-owned peers.

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

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