Nonprofit Hospitals:

Better Standards Needed for Tax Exemption

T-HRD-90-45: Published: Jun 28, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1990.

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GAO discussed the role played by nonprofit hospitals in providing charitable services to indigent populations. GAO found that: (1) some hospitals are reducing their provision of indigent care and other charitable activities; (2) for many nonprofit hospitals, the link between tax-exempt status and the provision of charitable activities for the poor or underserved is weak; (3) large urban teaching and public hospitals provided a disproportionate share of compensated care; (4) it was not uncommon for nonprofit hospitals' strategic goals to resemble those of for-profit institutions; and (5) currently, the Internal Revenue Service has no requirements relating hospitals' charitable activities for the poor to their tax-exempt status.

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