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GA charity-care hospital regulations scrutinized

Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 9, 2011

Georgia's not-for-profit hospitals receive millions of dollars a year in federal, state and local tax breaks. Residents pay more in taxes because these hospitals are exempt. In exchange, taxpayer-subsidized hospitals are expected to provide charitable services -- "a community benefit." But Georgia, like 35 other states, has no specific requirements hospitals must meet to justify these tax breaks. And an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of hospital data reveals that some not-for-profit hospitals provide less in community benefits -- specifically, charity health care for the poor -- than the tax-paying, for-profit hospitals they compete with.