IRS Releases Proposed Regulations on Requirements for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

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On June 22, only days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), the Treasury Department released proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code section 501(r), enacted as part of PPACA. Section 501(r) requires all tax-exempt “hospital organizations” to have certain policies and procedures in place for each “hospital facility” they operate, including having a “financial assistance policy” for low income patients, written policies for the provision of emergency care, limitations on charges and collection activities for individuals eligible for the financial assistance policy, and the creation and implementation of a community health needs assessment.

The proposed regulations are detailed and prescriptive, although they do not address certain key aspects of section 501(r), including the required community health needs assessment and the sanctions for failing to comply with section 501(r).

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