Abstract [from jorunal]
Objective: To determine the association of state laws on nonprofit hospital community benefit spending.
Design: We used multivariate models to estimate the association between different types of state-level community benefit laws and nonprofit hospital community benefit spending from tax filings.
Setting: All 50 US states.
Participants: A total of 2421 nonprofit short-term acute care hospital organizations that filled an internal revenue service Form 990 and Schedule H for calendar during years 2009-2015.
Results: Between 2009 and 2015, short-term acute care hospitals spent an average of $46 billion per year in total, or $20 million per hospital on community benefit activities. Exposure to a state-level community benefit law of any type was associated with an $8.42 (95% confidence interval: 1.20-15.64) per $1000 of total operating expense greater community benefit spending. Spending amounts and patterns varied on the basis of the type of community benefit law and hospital urbanicity.
Conclusions: State laws are associated with nonprofit hospital community benefit spending. Policy makers can use community benefit laws to increase nonprofit hospital engagement with public health.