Sacramento Hearing, Rally to Shine Spotlight – Aug. 15th

Sutter RNs fight cuts.

What Do Hospitals Return to Community for Non-Profit Status?

CALIFORNIA–(ENEWSPF)–August 10, 2012.  Do California not-for-profit hospitals return an equitable benefit to the state and local communities for the huge tax privileges they receive for their non-profit status? Do they provide sufficient levels of charity care? Are they publicly accountable? Are their actions adequately measurable and transparent?

Those are among questions to be explored in a hearing by a special California Senate Select Committee on Charity Care and Nonprofit Hospitals to be held Wednesday, August 15 in the State Capitol that will be followed by a rally of nurses on the Capitol steps.

At the hearing, to be hosted by Sen. Ellen Corbett, chair of the committee, legislators are expected to hear testimony from the California Nurses Association, Grant Parks, principal auditor from the California State Auditor’s Office, state Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, and others. CNA will be presenting a new report on the advantages private, not-for-profit hospitals accrue and what they provide in return.

When:  Wednesday, August 15
Legislative Hearing:  State Capitol, Room 3191, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Nurses Rally:  State Capitol, North Steps, 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. (following hearing) Sacramento

A number of large non-profit hospital systems, in particular, have come under growing scrutiny for what some see are rampant abuses, including closure or reduction of patient services and providing minimal levels of charity care while amassing huge profits and making lavish payments in compensation and perks to company executives all while benefiting from favorable tax treatment.

“Californians provide huge subsidies to these private, non-profit hospitals through a broad array of public services, they have a right to expect the hospitals fulfill their social obligation to provide appropriate levels of charity care and other community benefits in return,” says CNA co-president Zenei Cortez, RN.

At a town hall meeting in San Leandro in June, RNs and community members raised questions about inconsistent data reported by tax exempt hospitals as well as how some non-profits widely inflate charges for hospital care, especially for uninsured patients, then writing off as “charity care” whatever they do not collect from the patient.