Online Program

Changes in Community Benefit spending by non-profit hospitals, 2009-2012: Implications for Public Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

JP Leider, PhD, de Beaumont Foundation, Bethesda, MD
Gregory Tung, PhD MPH, Health Systems, Management, and Policy, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Emily Johnson, BA, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Richard Lindrooth, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Brian Castrucci, MA, deBeaumont Foundation, Bethesda, MD
The trend towards higher level of health insurance in the United States holds the potential to dramatically change charity care spending from the nation’s 2,500 non-profit hospital systems. This presentation will describe shifts in payment for charity care between 2009 and 2012, as well as changes in other activities not-for-profit hospitals and hospital systems perform as part of their Community Benefit requirements. Community Benefit requirements have been outlined by the IRS as specific charitable activities hospitals perform that help to justify their not-for-profit tax status.

Approximately 2,500 systems submitted data in 2009-2012. Not-for-profit hospitals reported spending over $50 billion each year on community benefits, largely in charity care and other financial assistance. Hospitals spent 7.7% of total operating expenses on community benefit in 2009 on average, 70% of which went to charity care and other financial assistance in some form.  The average total spending on community benefits increased to 8.5% in 2012. This correlates to over $30 billion in charity care and related financial assistance spending, nationally. In total, hospitals spent about 0.11% of total operating expenses on population-oriented community building activities, e.g., economic development, community health improvement activities, or leadership training. Data will also  be presented on local-level Community Benefit spending.  These data help to further establish a baseline of health care spending in advance of most major provisions of the ACA’s implementation in 2013 and 2014. With shifts in the number of uninsured, the need for charity care spending may diminish, and hospitals may elect to shift more toward other community-building activities.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe changes to community benefit spending in the United States during 2009-2012

Keyword(s): Health Systems Transformation, Public Health Administration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Responsible for conceptualization, data collection, and analysis. Have doctoral training in quantitative methods.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.