Big Hospitals Get Tax Breaks for Community Benefits — But Don’t Earn Them
Kaiser nurses strike over patient care — as Kaiser shortchanges care for low-income people
Editor’s note: As Kaiser nurses walk the picket lines (we will be reporting more on the strike later this week) it’s worth noting that these “nonprofit” hospitals aren’t all about the public good.
By Anna Challet
New American Media
NOVEMBER 13, 2014 — Not-for-profit hospitals, like Kaiser in San Francisco, receive tax breaks in exchange for providing benefits to their communities — services like charity care for people who are uninsured. But are the not-for-profit hospitals in California providing enough of these services to earn their tax breaks?
Not by a long shot, according to a new study by The Greenlining Institute.
According to the study, not-for-profit hospitals in the state take in over twice as much money in tax breaks as they spend on community benefits. And an investigation into the community benefit spending of three large hospitals in San Francisco – Kaiser, St. Mary’s Medical Center and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) – revealed shoddy data reporting on where the money is going.
“It’s an unfair exchange. Hospitals receive about $3.2 billion in tax breaks because of their not-for-profit status, but from what we can see at the state level, there’s only about $1.4 billion going back into the community through their community benefits,” says Carla Saporta, Greenlining’s health policy director and one of the study’s authors.