Roughly 40 hospitals have urged the Internal Revenue Service to delay by two years proposed rules that would expand public reporting of how not-for-profit hospitals subsidize medical care, research and other health services in exchange for federal tax breaks.
Regulators released online comments received as of Aug. 12 on the agencys planned overhaul of the Form 990, a tax filing widely used by not-for-profits to report ttheir revenue and how its spent. A draft of the overhauled form, unveiled June 14, would set a uniform standard for how hospitals report community benefits, such as free and discounted care for low-income patients. The public comment period ends Sept. 14, and the agency said it may implement the new rules as early as 2008.
Form letters sent by 42 hospitals call for the IRS to include two expenses omitted from the agencys tally of community benefit: Medicare losses and bad debt, the Web site said. Letters also said hospitals reporting requirements should be streamlined to eliminate questions that are burdensome and confusing and that fail to provide meaningful information to the community, according to the IRS Web site. -- by Melanie Evans
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