Both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals spend on their operating expenses for uncompensated care – “In response to the findings, California Hospital Association spokesperson Jan Emerson-Shea said, ‘Charity care is important, but it is only a fraction of the total picture of how [not-for-profit] hospitals reinvest back into their local communities.’ She added, ‘In addition to charity care, [not-for-profit] hospitals fund research, education, wellness services and a myriad of other programs that are determined based on the needs of local communities’ (“To Your Health,” Washington Post, 8/4)…While not-for-profit hospitals in California spend slightly more on charity care than their for-profit counterparts, they spend the same amount on uncompensated care, according to a study published in Health Affairs, the Washington Post’s “To Your Health” reports…charity care accounted for about 1.9% of operating expenses among not-for-profit hospitals in California. In comparison, charity care amounted to 1.4% of operating expenses among for-profit hospitals in the state. However, both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals spent an average of 4.4% of their operating expenses on uncompensated care, according to the study (“To Your Health,” Washington Post, 8/4)…Takeaways: The researcher wrote that the findings suggest a need for more accountability under the Affordable Care Act, which requires all not-for-profit hospitals to have charity care policies. They noted that the ACA ‘lacks specific details, including which patients qualify and what charges should be waived’ (Brino, Healthcare Finance, 8/4). They added, ‘The takeaway is not that we should not be giving tax breaks, but that there should be a little more accountability’.”


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