Ohio AG working to define charity care

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has kicked off an initiative under which he plans to better define what the state's not-for-profit hospitals must do to keep their state property tax exemption. Among other things, Dann wants to see poor and uninsured patients pay no more than insurance companies pay for care.  As part of the initiative, Dann plans to hire experts to study charity care issues and look at what other states are doing. He's interested, for example, in a Minnesota accord under which hospitals agreed not to use abusive debt collection practices or charge uninsured patients more than insurance companies. He also plans to examine the efforts made by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who, as FierceHealthcare readers know, has been all over the issue of hospitals' charity care levels for years. His initiative comes as several Ohio communities have begun questioning the tax-exempt status of their local not-for-profit hospitals. For example, one community is challenging the tax exemption enjoyed by a Beachwood, OH facility run by the Cleveland Clinic, arguing that it provides no charity care or other community benefits.

To find out more about Ohio's initiative:
- read this piece in The Plain Dealer

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