Assembly Health Panel OKs Bill To Tighten Charity Care Rules
The bill now moves to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/6).
Current California law requires not-for-profit hospitals to submit community needs assessments every three years to prove that the public is benefiting from the hospitals' tax-exempt status.
About the Bill
The bill -- by Assembly members Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Bob Wiecowski (D-Fremont) -- would increase the level of charity care not-for-profit acute care facilities must provide and tighten hospital reporting requirements (California Healthline, 4/1).
The legislation also would prohibit hospitals from counting several types ofÂ expenses as charity care, including:
- Promotional activities;
- Staff education; and
- Unpaid bills written off as bad debt.
Hospitals oppose the legislation, while several labor unions have endorsed the measure (Contra Costa Times, 4/6).
Lawmaker Raises Concerns About Bill
Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said that he provided a "courtesy vote" to advance the bill.He said that the bill'sÂ definition of charity care should be altered to better reflect the types of cases where not-for-profit hospitals could lose money (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.