By Consumers for Quality Care, on November 15, 2022
A report from the Center for American Progress, as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, said policymakers should question whether giving hospitals “carte blanche for community benefits in exchange for tax breaks” is the best way to allocate public health resources and care for those who cannot afford treatment.
According to the report, some hospitals’ “excess revenues come at least in part from overcharging patients,” and “stronger federal regulation and oversight are needed to ensure that all nonprofit hospitals properly fulfill their charitable mission.”
The report outlined several policies lawmakers should consider to boost nonprofit hospital accountability, including setting standards for charity care eligibility and obligations, tightening the definition of community benefit, limiting extraordinary debt collection practices, and empowering the Federal Trade Commission to regulate nonprofit hospital conduct.
Other polices recommended by the report include requiring nonprofit hospitals to engage communities in needs assessments and implementation plans and participate in public health programs.
Nonprofit hospitals must hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to serving their communities, and lawmakers and regulators must hold them accountable for not doing so.