Advocacy Issue: Tax-Exempt Status

The mission of all hospitals and health systems, regardless of size and type of ownership, is to care for their patients and communities. In addition to providing financial assistance to those in need, hospitals help get people enrolled in health care coverage, and often cover the cost of care for low-income patients without insurance or who are underinsured. Hospitals also proactively work to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities, often through non-clinical services that address societal factors like inadequate housing and food insecurity and transportation.

In the current workforce crisis, some hospitals are supplying faculty for nursing programs and supporting workforce development programs and building housing for their staff. Hospitals also conduct research leading to new therapies and other innovations.

AHA Position

Every single hospital and health system provides benefits to their communities that far outstrip any other sector in health care. Some hospitals are exempt from federal and some state and local taxes. For that privilege, they dutifully publicly report the range of benefits and services they provide to their communities, one of which is financial assistance for those in need. Hospitals more than earn their tax exemption, in part because of the immense benefits they provide to the communities they serve. The reports hospitals file every year with the IRS both counts and describes these benefits.

Key Resources