Nonprofit Hospitals Come Under Congressional Scrutiny

The Hill: A bipartisan effort is being made in Congress to crack down on nonprofit hospitals that refuse to offer charity care. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) are leading the effort.

"Grassley has tried for years to compel tax-exempt hospitals to provide a level of charity care that merits the tax breaks they receive. Rush entered the fray last year when he discovered that a tax-exempt hospital in his district, the University of Chicago Medical Center, refused to care for uninsured or poor patients, a practice known as patient-dumping. … As lawmakers seek revenue to fund their priorities, tax-exempt organizations could go under the congressional microscope to see whether the services they provide are different from those of their for-profit counterparts. If there is little distinction, these organizations stand to lose their tax status" (Heflin, 3/29).

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