Montana health officials are proposing to oversee and set standards for the charitable contributions that nonprofit hospitals make in their communities each year to justify their access to millions of dollars in tax exemptions.
The proposal is part of a package of legislation that the state Department of Public Health and Human Services will ask lawmakers to approve when they convene in January. It comes two years after a state audit called on the department to play more of a watchdog role and nine months after a KHN investigation found some of Montana’s wealthiest hospitals lag behind state and national averages in community giving.
The IRS requires nonprofit hospitals to tally what they spend to “promote health” to benefit “the community as a whole.” How hospitals count such contributions to justify their tax exemptions is opaque and varies widely. National researchers who study community benefits have called for tightening standards for what counts toward the requirement.
Author(s): Katheryn Houghton
Publication Date: 28 Sept 2022
Publication Site: Kaiser Health News