Question: A physician asked our hospital to waive all fees for caring for a child from another country. The physician will waive the professional fees and all other physicians involved in the child's care will not charge. Can this be included as charity care?
Recommendation: Free or discounted care could be reported as community benefit charity care if the care was provided consistent with your charity care/financial assistance policies. For example:
- Your policies define the community as extending beyond your geographic area in some situations. (Centers of excellence for services such as transplantation or oncology often include such provisions.)
- The patient meets the financial criteria (income or income and assets) of your charity care/financial assistance policy. We do not recommend a blanket policy that when physicians donate services, the facility will as well, since this could open the facility to providing financial assistance to persons not in financial need.
(Updated November 2015)