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Report Ignores True Value of Chicago Hospitals
Date:4/10/2009

tating the value of such benefits. For some reason, CTBA chose to use 2007 Community Benefit Reports for this study when 2008 Reports were readily available. By using the older data, they conclude that charity care costs for the comparable study hospitals increased by only $40 million. But if they used the most recent data they would have had to report that charity care increased by $54 million - in other words, CTBA understated the increase in charity care by 35%.
  • It overestimates sales tax liability by applying the regular sales tax rate(2) to all supplies, even though a 1% rate would apply to all prescription drugs, food and consumable medical supplies and no sales tax at all is applied to supplies used for Medicare and Medicaid patients (which account for over half of the average hospital's patients). In other words, the correct value of the sales tax exemption to the studied hospitals was most likely less than half of the amount CTBA reports.
  • It estimates that property taxes for these hospitals would be about 2.2 percent of their expenses. Yet, for those hospitals in Cook County that are actually on the tax rolls, property taxes are about 1 percent of expenses - less than half of CTBA's estimate. CTBA may prefer a methodology for calculating property values for hospitals that differs from the one presently used, but wishing it so doesn't make it so.
  • It fails to include the $315 million "Medicaid shortfall" as part of the benefit that hospitals confer - that's the unreimbursed cost of care that those hospitals provide to Medicaid recipients. Even the IRS considers the Medicaid shortfall as part of the rationale for hospital tax exemption.
  • To suggest that hospitals are not doing enough to serve their patients and communities or to deserve their tax-exempt status is misleading and does nothing to help policy makers and society work toward solution
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  • SOURCE Illinois Hospital Association
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