Earlier this week there was an article in North Carolina about a patient who was unemployed and had mounting medical bills that the hospital allegedly would not negotiate a discount or payment plan. The hospital is a non-profit tax-exempt organization as permitted under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Therefore, the hospital is not required to pay taxes. However, the hospital must provide services to the community to support its charitable purposes. Over the last several years there has been an increased scrutiny on tax exempt hospitals to determine whether the facility is acting “for profit” or if it is in fact satisfying the charitable objectives and purposes which afford it the tax exemption. In fact, several hospitals lost their tax exempt status as a result of this increased scrutiny.
In order to address the tax exempt objectives of ensuring hospitals provide care to all patients and meet the needs of the community, the Patient Protection and Affordable