Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Tax-exempt orgs much in the news.
There's a lot of scrutiny of tax-exempt organizations these days, much of it on the health care industry, and all of it of potential significance to tax-exempt health care providers. Here's a quick run-down of yesterday's developments:
- Richard Scruggs announced yesterday that he (or related firms) has filed 5 more class-action suits against 8 more defendants challenging the amount of charity care the defendants provide. The press release is on a litigation web page here, along with copies of all 18 complaints. As Charles Bailey, g.c. of the Texas Hospital Association, said in an article in The Dallas Morning News, it's surprising that two hospitals (so far) in Texas have been targeted, since Texas requires nonprofit hospitals to provide a minimum amount of charity care in order to maintain their nonprofit status. The "safe harbor" requirement is 4% of net operating revenues for charity care and unreimbursed govern-sponsored indigent health care and 5% in total community benefits.
- The Senate Finance Committee began hearings under the title, "Charity Oversight and Reform: Keeping Bad Things from Happening to Good Charities." There were three panels and a total of 13 witnesses, not counting Senators Grassley and Baucus, who presented their own member statements. The hearing can be viewed with streaming video through RealAudio. There's also a 19-page "staff discussion draft" of Tax Exempt Governance Proposals, if you want to see where these hearings are headed.
- The IRS announced at the Senate hearing that it is launching an enforcement initiative to examine compensation practices of tax-exempt and charitable organizations. You can read the details in Commissioner Everson's testimony or you can read about it in this AP article (via The Houston Chronicle).
- Over on the House side, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held its "First Hearing in a Series on Tax Exemption: Pricing Practices of Hospitals": two panels, nine witnesses. There's a good AP report (via Forbes.com) on the House hearings.
posted by tommayo, 7:48 AM
Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter