I'd like to address the article in the April 25 issue ("Pa. high court ruling aids hospitals," p. 14) discussing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision involving the tax exemption of St. Margaret Seneca Place Nursing Home in Pittsburgh. While the court has addressed several areas involved in the analysis of whether an institution is a purely public charity in Pennsylvania, I believe the case will have a limited impact on hospitals for several reasons:
St. Margaret Seneca Place's patient population consisted of 48% Medicaid cases. The fact that there was this large percentage and many patients could not be admitted to certain other facilities had a significant effect on the ruling.
The nursing home was in existence for only a short time when the case was tried and had shown consistent losses, with interest-free loans being advanced by St. Margaret Memorial Hospital.
There was no significant evidence presented concerning salaries, and there was an absence of collateral business arrangements present at most modern hospitals.
Allegheny County, Pa.