HEALTH CARE COMPLIANCE 1 (HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT) 1 . Conduct some research on the community benefits offered by a local tax-exempt hospital. Review
HEALTH CARE COMPLIANCE 1 (HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT) 1 . Conduct some research on the community benefits offered by a local tax-exempt hospital. Review its website to see how it describes its community activities and summarize your findings. Are you satisfied that it has met the IRS community benefit standard? Under what section of the Internal Revenue Code are non-profit, tax-exempt entities organized?
2. List a minimum of five components of a compliance program designed to protect a hospital’s tax-exempt status. (Not just its tax-exempt bond financing.)
3. Provide five examples of incentives that hospitals use for recruiting and retaining physicians.
– attached powerpoint to help Chapter 4
Federal Income Tax
Benefits of tax-exempt status
Ways that tax-exempt status may be lost
IRS pressure on tax-exempt hospitals
How a hospital can provide community benefit
Problems with “excess benefit transactions”
Legally-safe physician recruitment incentives
Tax-exempt status in a joint venture
Tax-exempt status compliance program
Tax-exemption for health care entities is available under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The largest segment of the health care industry composed of non-profit entities are hospitals.
Tax-exempt status of non-profit hospitals has become a hot issue, legally and politically.
Benefits of Tax-Exempt Status
Need not pay federal income taxes
Generally need not pay state income taxes, state/local sales taxes, and property taxes
Donations to exempt entities are tax deductible
Exempt entities may receive foundation and government grants
May use tax-exempt bond financing
Free from pressure of shareholders
Indications That a Hospital Does Not Deserve Tax-Exempt Status
Few free or discounted care patients
Minimal dollar value of free care
Unpaid bills immediately sent to collections
Uninsured patients charged full rates
Failure to publicize indigent patient policies
Failure to provide community benefits
No allocation of revenue surplus to research, education, and medical training
Requirements for Hospital Tax-Exempt Status
Excess benefit transactions
Unrelated business income
Transparency requirements under PPACA
Physician recruitment and retention
Mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures
Tax-exempt bond financing
Community Benefit Standard
Activities the IRS looks for in determining if a non-profit organization has met its community benefit standard.
Community-oriented governing board
Open staff privileges
Emergency medical care
Non-emergency medical care
Use of surplus funds
Excess Benefit Transactions
Providing economic benefit to a “disqualified person” without receiving something of equivalent fair market value in return.
Definition of “disqualified person”.
Recipient of excess benefit pays excise tax.
Managers approving the transaction liable for 10% tax on excess amount.
Compensation tied to % of net earnings.
Unrelated Business Income
Money-making activities unrelated to an entity’s charitable purpose.
Hospital gift shops and parking garages.
Income generated by an activity “regularly carried on” and not substantially related to charitable purpose is taxed at normal corporate rates.
New Transparency Requirements Under PPACA
Community health needs assessment every 3 years
Written financial assistance policy and emergency care policy
Avoid abusive billing and collection practices
Hospital emergency care charges for uninsured patients no higher than for insured patients
Every 3 years, IRS review of hospital’s community benefit activities
Physician Recruitment & Retention
In order to offer physician recruitment incentives, hospitals must do the following:
Demonstrated community need for physician
Or located in Health Professional Shortage Area
Formal written physician recruitment policy
Recruitment package negotiated at arm’s length
Market-reasonable financial incentives
Each package approved by board of directors
Mergers and Acquisitions
These transactions must be conducted at FMV.
Hospital buys physician practice at inflated price, or sells assets at below FMV.
Be able to demonstrate FMV of the exchange; professional valuation is key.
Risk of anti-kickback and Stark violations.
For-profit entity buys a non-profit entity.
Tax-exempt entity partners with non-tax-exempt entity.
Venture serves hospital’s charitable purpose.
Venture gives priority to exempt purposes over maximizing profits.
Hospital does not yield control of its activities to its non-tax-exempt partner.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing
Must use bond proceeds to advance the hospital’s charitable purposes.
Put to a “qualified use” not a “private use”.
Management & service contracts present special risk; IRS has defined 6 safe harbors.
Reasonable contract compensation, not based on share of profits, qualified user free to terminate contract, and contract term limits.
Are medical directors and clinic physicians employees of a hospital?
Hospital’s degree of control over the physician’s work activities is key.
Physician has no private practice, paid a fixed salary, hospital provides supplies and support, submits claims for physician’s work, and is on duty at the hospital during specified hours.
Steps to Protect Tax-Exempt Status
Incorporate exempt status measures in overall compliance program.
Concentrate on high risk areas, use checklists to keep transactions and arrangements within legal limits.
Document employee training, compliance reviews and other measures, and procedures for identifying & resolving violations.