Every three years, the Central Ohio Hospital Council conducts an analysis of the combined community benefit provide by the Franklin County hospital systems. A new community benefit report will be issued in the first quarter of 2019.
Community benefit expresses a nonprofit hospital’s charitable mission and qualifies an institution for 501(C)3 tax exemption. Nonprofit hospitals were first recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax exempt as a result of the charitable care they provide for those unable to pay. The IRS significantly expanded activities that support a hospital’s tax‐exempt status by establishing community benefit – uncompensated care — as the legal standard for exemption.
Community benefits include Medicaid shortfalls, charity, community health improvement services, health professions education, subsidized health services, research, and cash and in-kind contributions. Franklin County hospitals have provided $2.8 billion in uncompensated care over the last 12 years. Since 2014, the percentage of uncompensated care resulting from Medicaid shortfalls increased by 62%.