The lines have been blurred between a charitable hospital and a profit-generating healthcare business. The definition of charitable care has been under pressure from government taxing authorities seeking to raise tax revenues by challenging the tax exemption for vast amounts of hospital real estate. Charitable hospitals are pushing to expand the definition of charitable care, while at the same time seeking tax exemption for a growing number of satellite properties. This conflict between governments and hospitals is leading to confusion about what qualifies as charity care, warranting nonprofit status, and the privilege of tax exemption. Local taxing authorities, state courts, and nonprofit hospitals all need a clear codified standard for charitable care to differentiate between medical facilities that ought to qualify for an exemption from real property tax and those that should not.
Note, The Rules of the Fight Must be Fair: States Should Pass a Uniform Code for Nonprofit Hospital Tax Exemption of Real Property, 26 J.L. & Health 415 (2013)