Three provider groups this week criticized the Internal Revenue Service for the way the agency issued the revised Schedule H section of the Form 990 that hospitals file.
Provider groups criticize IRS handling of Schedule H revision
In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (PDF)—which was also sent to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee—the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Financial Management Association and VHA said the IRS failed to follow the 1995 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) when it revised “Section V.B.” of Schedule H. The groups contend that this section, which added some 80 additional questions that hospitals must now answer, includes burdensome reporting requirements and inconsistencies.
Representatives from the three organizations met with personnel from both the IRS and OMB in mid-December to discuss the matter.
“The failure to follow PRA procedures was compounded by IRS’ failure to issue regulations or to otherwise provide the hospital field with a meaningful opportunity to comment on the Schedule H form and instructions,” the letter noted. “Equally concerning is that one day after publishing a notice on the IRS website on Dec. 15, 2011 requesting comments on the “draft” schedule H, IRS representatives told those attending the OMB meeting that the Schedule H form and instructions were final and that no further changes would be made.”
Consequently, the groups said, the IRS made final Schedule H and its instructions on Jan. 23, without considering the comments.
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