Question: Occasionally, the acute care hospitals in our system treat homeless and uninsured patients who require post-discharge treatment but cannot find community resources willing to serve them. We have a post-acute division in our system that provides nursing home, assisted living, home care services. This division is a separate corporation with a separate tax ID number. The hospitals have worked out an agreement with the post-acute division that if a homeless or uninsured patient meets clinical criteria for post-acute care services, the post-acute division will accept the patients and the hospital will pay for the care (at cost). Can this be reported as community benefit?
Recommendation: We recommend the payments to a homeless shelter program be reported as a community benefit expense in the category of E1. Cash Donation. If payment is made on behalf of a specific patient it would be reported in A3. Health Care Support Services since it increases access to services for the patient.
(Updated November 2015)