Did you know that nonprofit hospitals in California are required to donate a certain amount of their profits to charity? No? We didn’t either. According to this Los Angeles Times article, “California’s attorney general can set specific charity care requirements for hospitals when a nonprofit hospital merges or is acquired by another nonprofit or for-profit hospital.”
The California Hospital Association wrote to Attorney General Xavier Becerra on behalf of 32 hospitals wanting “flexibility” in meeting their obligations. They claimed that there wasn’t a pressing need to provide the mandated money to charity since millions of state residents have insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
On April 20, Becerra ruled against three of the hospitals, including two in Los Angeles.
Mission Community Hospital: Must donate $1.7 million to at least one local nonprofit providing medical services for low-income and homeless residents.
USC’s Verdugo Hills Hospital: Must donate $1.7 million to local medical service providers.
While Becerra’s ruling applied to only these two hospitals, and one in the Central Valley, it sends a message to California hospitals that he and health consumer advocates will be closely monitoring their actions moving forward.