The Central Ohio Hospital Council periodically conducts an analysis of the combined community benefit provided by the Franklin County hospital systems. The 2019 community benefit report, “Building a Healthier Community Together,” shows:
Franklin County’s not-for-profit hospitals provided $647.7 million in total community benefit in 2017. These community benefit activities include:
- Caring for individuals without insurance or those served by the Medicaid program, which reimburses hospitals far below the cost of providing care. In 2017, hospital uncompensated care totaled $447.6 million, up from $438.1 million in 2013, when the state expanded Medicaid to cover more uninsured individuals.
- Educating the next generation of health professionals and conducting research into new healthcare innovations. In 2017, spending in these areas totaled $247.2 million, an increase of 16% over 2013.
- Investing in community health improvement activities and providing health services that would otherwise not be available. In 2017, spending in these areas totaled $29.5 million, an increase of 42% over 2013.
Central Ohio’s not-for-profit hospitals are recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service as a result of the substantial amount of benefit they provide to our community. Instead of paying income or property taxes, central Ohio hospitals reinvest their earnings in services and activities that improve the health of central Ohio residents. Community benefit expresses a nonprofit hospital’s charitable mission and is the legal standard for 501(C)3 tax exemption.
Under IRS regulations, community benefit includes Medicaid shortfalls, charity care, community health improvement services, health professions education, subsidized health services, research, and cash and in-kind contributions.