Creating a Record of Charity Care Policies and Activities
The following questions are from the 2001 IRS Field Service Advice, and list the features that the IRS considers to make up a factual record on the charitable care policies and activities of a hospital.
- Does the hospital have a specific, written plan or policy to provide free or low-cost healthcare services to the poor or indigent?
- Under what circumstances may, or has, the hospital deviated from its stated policies on providing free or low-cost healthcare services to the poor or indigent?
- Does the hospital broadcast the terms and conditions of its charity care policy to the public?
- Does the hospital maintain and operate a full-time emergency room open to all people, regardless of their ability to pay?
- What directives or instructions does the hospital provide to ambulance services about bringing poor or indigent patients to its emergency room?
- What inpatient, outpatient, and diagnostic services does the hospital actually provide to the poor or indigent for free or for reduced charges?
- Under what circumstances does the hospital deny healthcare services to the poor or indigent?
- Does the hospital operate with the expectation of receiving full payment from all people to whom it renders services?
- How and when does the hospital ascertain whether a patient will be able to pay for the hospital's services?
- What documents or agreements does the hospital require poor or indigent patients to sign before receiving care?
- What is the hospital's policy on admitting poor or indigent patients as inpatients and outpatients?
- Under what circumstances does the hospital refer poor or indigent individuals who require services to other hospitals in the area that admit poor or indigent patients?
- Does the hospital maintain separate and detailed records about the number of times, and circumstances under which, it actually provided free or reduced cost care to the poor or indigent?
- Does the hospital maintain a separate account on its books that segregates the costs of providing free or reduced-cost care to the poor or indigent? Does this account include any other items, such as write-offs for care to patients who were not poor or indigent?
Source: These questions appeared in P&P Board Issue Analysis 05-01 (April 2005) Appendix A - Creating a Record of Charity Care Policies and Activities
Publication Date: Friday, July 09, 2010