December 29, 2014
Yesterday, the Department of the Treasury issued a final rule on the Affordable Care Act’s regulations for tax-exempt hospitals. The ACA requires that, as a condition of their tax-exempt status, charitable hospitals identify and address the health needs of the communities they serve, establish billing and collections protections for patients eligible for financial assistance, and provide patients with the information needed to apply for such assistance. The final rule takes effect taxable years beginning after December 29, 2015 and is available here.
In practice, many of these requirements took effect in 2010. Charitable hospitals have been required to make a good-faith effort to comply with the statutory requirements since the ACA was passed, and have relied on Treasury’s proposed regulations to do so. These final rules adopt the same framework of proposed regulations but make some changes.