About Community Benefit
Not-for-profit health care organizations demonstrate their commitment to community service through organized and sustainable community benefit programs providing:
- Free and discounted care to those unable to afford health care.
- Care to low-income beneficiaries of Medicaid and other indigent care programs.
- Services designed to improve community health and increase access to health care.
Community benefit is also the basis of the tax-exemption of not-for-profit hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in its Revenue Ruling 69–545, describes the community benefit standard for charitable tax-exempt hospitals. Since 2008, tax-exempt hospitals have been required to report their community benefit and other information related to tax-exemption on the IRS Form 990 Schedule H.
The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, added new requirements for tax-exempt hospitals regarding:
- Community health needs assessment and planning.
- Financial assistance.
- Billing and collections.