Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office released a report on Thursday detailing the community benefits provided by hospitals.
In exchange for their tax-exempt status, non-profit hospitals are expected to pay for programs in their communities that improve residents’ health, and report their expenditures publicly.
Fifty non-profit hospitals reported $559 million in community benefits during fiscal year 2011, of which $58 million went for free or discounted care for patients. The hospitals on average spent more than 3 percent of their total patient care expenses on community benefits.
Many for-profit hospitals also provide community benefits. Twelve for-profit hospitals reported $63 million in community benefits, $16 million of which was spent on free or discounted care for patients. The for-profit hospitals also spent about three percent of their total patient expenses on community benefits.