Statement on the IRS Revised Form 990 and Schedule H
President and CEO
December 20, 2007
Hospitals are strongly committed to transparency and accountability. The improvements that IRS made to Schedule H will help communities throughout the nation better understand the incredible range of programs, services and activities that hospitals provide to those they serve every day.
We are heartened that IRS has responded to the overwhelming sentiment expressed by 307 Members of Congress, the AHA and the vast majority of hospitals that filed comments that Medicare underpayments and patient bad debt be included on a community benefit reporting form. This allows for greater opportunity for hospitals to illustrate the full value of the programs they provide to their communities.
The AHA championed these changes, as well as successfully urging restoration of "community building" programs - such as providing transitional housing - as a reportable benefit.
We also applaud IRS for eliminating some of the burdensome questions that were unrelated to community benefit, particularly the chart labeled "Billing Information." Some hospitals had commented that providing the information requested would require 1,000 or more hours of staff work.
We also appreciate the one-year filing delay for Schedule H. While we are concerned that, absent instructions and worksheets for Schedule H, hospitals will be seriously hampered in their efforts to collect and report the information required, we will continue to work with IRS to monitor hospitals' progress and advocate for more time if IRS delays encumber hospitals' data collection efforts.
Hospitals exist to serve their communities. They are proud of the work they do and want to share fully that story with the people who count on them. We will continue to work with IRS and the Congress to ensure Schedule H reaches it highest potential as a trusted information source for communities everywhere.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
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