The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations clarifying the requirements for tax-exempt status and the imposition of intermediate sanctions. In the 20-page notice of proposed rulemaking, the IRS for the first time links the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit organizations to violations involving excess-benefit transactions, said Michael Peregrine, a healthcare tax attorney with the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery. Peregrine said that until now, the IRS had only gone after transaction participants, such as board members, officers or other disqualified persons who privately benefited from excess-benefit transactions or approved them. Parties have until Dec. 8 to submit comments and final regulations will be published in the Federal Register next year.
Attentus to lead Ark. site
Attentus Healthcare, Franklin, Tenn., signed an agreement to take over management of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Forrest City (Ark.), according to officials for Attentus and Francis County, Ark., which owns the hospital's property and physical plant. Baptist Memorial Health Care, Memphis, Tenn., announced in May that it intended to end its management of the Forrest City hospital, a move that severs Baptist Memorial's last affiliation with an Arkansas hospital, according to a Baptist Memorial spokeswoman. The agreement calls for Attentus to pay the county $10 million under a 30-year lease, though details are still being worked out, Attentus said. The county still needs to complete its due diligence, but otherwise, the deal is nearly complete, a county official said.
CMS offers new demo
In a new five-year CMS demonstration project, physicians and integrated delivery systems that can show improved quality and efficiency while reducing costs could qualify for higher Medicare reimbursements. Proposals for the Medicare Health Care Quality Demonstration project should indicate how they will use methods such as evidence-based guidelines and shared-decisionmaking tools to achieve safety, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and equity. Applicants for the first round must submit their proposals by Jan. 30, 2006.