New law requires Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals to explain their ‘community benefit’ in greater detail
Polis signs bills requiring the posting of religious objections to care, allowing state to pay for community health workers
The Denver Post
BOULDER — Next year, nonprofit hospitals in Colorado will have to report more specific information about how they spend their “community benefit” dollars, following criticism that they weren’t meeting public needs.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Jared Polis said he wanted to see nonprofit hospitals held “accountable” for meeting local needs. On Wednesday, he signed a scaled-down bill mandating that they report their spending to the state in greater detail.
The original HB23-1243 would have set a floor for community benefit spending, among other changes.
The bill was among a number of health care measures the governor signed Wednesday.
“What they are supposed to do with their immense profits, since they don’t pay taxes, is invest that in the community,” Polis said in a brief statement before signing the bill at Out Boulder County, a nonprofit serving the LGBTQ community. “We don’t know if it’s going to the community’s priorities or just the hospital’s priorities.”
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The Internal Revenue Service requires nonprofit hospitals to provide community benefit in place of paying taxes, but doesn’t mandate a minimum amount. That could include free and discounted care; the difference between the cost of care and what Medicare or Medicaid pays; medical research; classes to help patients manage their chronic conditions; staff training; and spending to help meet patients’ social needs, like food and housing.
Read more via The Denver Post.