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Lown Institute Report Finds U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals Receive Greater Tax Breaks Than Spend on Charity Care

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Nonprofit hospital systems are expected to give back to their communities in amounts that justify their massive tax breaks. But a new report from the Lown Institute, a healthcare think tank, shows this is rarely the case. They determined that 227 of the 275 systems studied had fair share deficits, meaning they spent less on charity care and community investment than the value of their tax exemption. Adding the fair share deficits of all hospital systems together reveals $18.4 billion in stranded dollars that could have been used to advance health equity, housing, food insecurity, and other local needs.

The 10 private nonprofit hospital systems with the largest fair share deficits (FYE 2019) are identified in the report, with these 10 systems account for $5.6 billion of the $18.4 billion total fair share deficit.

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