Question: Is the "need" for health professions assumed (part of the not-for-profit community benefit standard) or does future shortage need to be identified? Does this follow physician recruitment and the guidelines set forth regarding MUA or HRSA definitions? Or is the cost of health professions always included in community benefit?
Recommendation:Health professions education should be always reported as community benefit. The IRS community benefit standard indicates that tax-exempt hospitals invest surplus funds in various things, including health professions education. In addition, teaching hospitals are training more people than they need for their own purposes. Trainees are graduating to work not only in local communities, but wherever they want or have opportunities.
Physician recruitments costs can be reported as community building if certain criteria are met, including an area being designated as a Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA) or Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).