Community Benefit

Applying for Guardianship

Please Take Note: The information provided does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.

Question: When a patient is no longer capable of decision making, the hospital must hire an attorney to petition the court for appointment of a guardian. This often happens to impoverished patients and is necessary for discharge to a long term care facility. Should these legal costs be reported as community benefit?

Recommendation: We recommend not reporting the cost of applying for guardianship as community benefit. This is a cost borne by all hospitals, is a cost of doing business, and does not distinguish a hospital as a charitable organization.

(September 2012)