Modern Healthcare's story “Short of the mark” (March 21, p. 6) misses the mark on the value that not-for-profit community hospitals provide to their communities. Focusing on charity care fails to account for the myriad of programs and services that hospitals provide, which are tailored to the needs of their own unique community and provide every bit as much value to the community as charity care.
Part of the problem is the Schedule H form itself. It has serious flaws and doesn't provide a full picture of a hospital's community benefit. A study for the American Hospital Association conducted by Brad Gray with the Urban Institute identified numerous deficiencies in the current Schedule H form that undercount community benefit, particularly for multihospital systems. Today's story is incomplete at best and fails to credit the difficulty hospitals sometimes encounter in determining which patients qualify for financial assistance.