Show Me the Money: The Implications of Schedule H
April 21, 2009
Eileen Salinsky, Consultant
Responding to policymakers' concerns, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) implemented significant new hospital community benefit reporting under Schedule H of its revised Form 990, the return used by tax-exempt organizations. This issue brief considers the policy implications of the quantitative and qualitative information that hospitals are now mandated to report through Schedule H, including the costs associated with charity care, bad debt, and the unreimbursed costs of Medicaid and Medicare. The paper examines unresolved issues related to the new reporting requirements, such as controversies regarding the scope of Schedule H, and considers the potential for these reports to influence IRS oversight activities, legislative action, and hospital policies and practices.
For a more detailed examination of Schedule H, see the companion paper, "Schedule H: New Community Benefit Reporting Requirements for Hospitals" (Background Paper No. 67, April 21, 2009).