Can hospitals give doctors electronic medical record technology or other IT equipment at no cost? After several months of waiting, the answer still seems to be a big "maybe." Last week the American Hospital Association again asked the IRS to offer clear guidance on whether health IT donations to doctors are okay, okay some of the time or unacceptable. To date, the IRS still hasn't formally replied to the AHA and other industry groups and let them know where it stands.
At the moment, it's still in question whether nonprofit hospitals can supply technologies without risking their tax-exempt status. Why? Under one interpretation of IRS rules, hospitals could be seen as serving a "private interest" rather than fulfilling their charitable mission if they give expensive IT equipment away, and that's a definite no-no.
For more information on the tax issue:
- read this article from Health Data Management