Maryland's 46 not-for-profit hospitals said they provided a total of $580 million in net community benefits, including $150 million in charity care, in fiscal 2004, according to the state's first report on hospital community benefits. The report, mandated by a 2001 state law, comes as state and federal legislators are questioning whether many charitable organizations, including hospitals, do enough for their communities to deserve tax exemptions. At deadline, information on the hospitals' total net income and revenue for 2004 was not available, and the report, by the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission, had not been posted online.
The commission said efforts to gather and interpret community-benefit information were a work in progress and would take several years to mature. For example, state reimbursements contain money for medical education, but that amount was not subtracted from the total community benefits reported, which included $252 million in medical-education activities. -- by Tony Fong