Cooperating for better care.

charity care

Tag Archives

Florida debates ending hospital-bed limits


Morton Plant Hospital, in Clearwater, Fla., part of BayCare Health System.

In Florida, there’s a big political debate over ending limits on the number of beds that hospitals and nursing homes can provide  in specific areas.  The Tampa Bay Times reported that some provider warn such a change “could make it harder for patients in poor or rural areas to find good-quality care. Their doomsday scenario: Without having to ask the state for permission to build, companies would be drawn to wealthier areas where more of the patients have private insurance plans that pay hospitals more than Medicaid.”

As The Tampa Bay Times notes:

“When someone wants to build a hospital or nursing home in Florida or add beds in an existing facility, the state has to agree that their community has a need for expanded health care.”

“For years, Republican state lawmakers have worked to repeal the regulation {that mandates that providers get permission to add or subtract from an institutions size} — known by the three-letters CON, or certificate of need — which they say is anticompetitive and inefficient. This year, the political environment in Tallahassee may finally allow them to do so.”

“Repealing CON could create a two-tiered health system in Florida,” Clint Shouppe, a lobbyist who represents BayCare Health System, told the paper. “One for patients with good-quality insurance and one for Medicaid and charity care patients.”

To read more, please hit this link.

Penn. to review definition of hospital charity care


Responding to a series of articles called “Counting Charity Care,” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has agreed to review the state’s definition of charity care, the newspaper reports.

The newspaper raised the question of how hospitals make decisions for patients who don’t fill out  charity-care forms. Many hospitals use algorithms to determine if the patient qualified for charity care based on publicly available data.

However, the paper reported, many hospitals don’t tell these patients that they qualified for charity care and that they can  come back for more free care as they would with patients who complete the form.

This practice means that charity care is not necessarily applied evenly among patients, the paper reported.

The Post-Gazette reported:

“Hospitals have given various reasons why they don’t tell the patients — from claiming that the law simply does not require them to, to saying that it would just be too expensive and a ‘burden’ to track down the patients and tell them they qualified.

“Patient advocates say not telling the patient does not appear to follow the law or spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which seeks to get people into a system of regular health care, rather than just receiving care in an emergency room when they are sicker.”

To read the Post-Gazette’s story, please hit this link.

Community-benefit rules for not-for-profit hospitals


This HealthAffairs policy brief discusses the challenge for not-for-profit hospitals  to meet new community-benefit requirements, created by the Affordable Care Act, to retain their tax-exempt status.

The piece concludes with:


Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass