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

s to the critical, underlying problem - lack of coverage and access for the uninsured, including 1.7 million Illinoisans. Hospitals are committed to being part of the solution, but cannot shoulder this societal burden alone.
  • The basic underlying rationale for this study - comparing tax-exempt value to charity care and concluding that hospitals are not meeting their obligations to merit tax-exempt status - is simply wrong. The very title of the report reveals a fatal flaw in CTBA's analysis that infects their entire report. The title sets up the false premise that charity care (i.e. free or discounted care) is the only measure of tax-exemption. While charity care is relevant, no Illinois court has ever held that charity care is the ONLY measure for qualifying for property tax exemption. In an unbroken string of cases dating back to 1893, the Illinois Supreme Court has expressly rejected such an approach, explaining as recently as 2004 that, "A charity is not defined by percentages ..." Quad Cities Open, Inc. v. City of Silvis, 208 Ill.2d 498 (2004).
  • The correct test for tax exemption is a combination of unreimbursed hospital services and activities that contribute to the well-being of the community. In fact, the report includes Chart 4 showing that the 27 hospitals and health systems studied provided community benefits of $2.14 Billion or nearly FIVE TIMES the value of CTBA's inflated estimated tax exemption value.
  • Try as they might to manipulate the data to support their pre-ordained results, they simply cannot hide the truth that hospitals are there 24/7 to provide essential life saving care, regardless of a patient's ability to pay.
  • Illinois hospitals are committed to serving the health care needs of the people in their communities, regardless of their ability to pay, and are truly the health care safety net for the uninsured
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  • SOURCE Illinois Hospital Association
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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