MINIMUM CHARITY CARE

“It is becoming more difficult for people in our community to afford the care they need.  We need to do something to make sure that all Oregonians get the quality care they deserve.”
–Pat Brown, Patient Access, Randall Children’s Hospital.

The Problem: Nonprofit hospitals do not pay income or property taxes in exchange for being charitable organizations. Current law provides no guidance about how much free or reduced price care a nonprofit hospital should provide in exchange for their tax-exempt status. We believe all hospitals in Oregon should provide a minimum level of benefits to their community in order to maintain their tax-exempt status.

We believe nonprofit hospitals should be required to reinvest at least 10% of net patient revenue back into charity care and community benefit programs.

Too many Oregonians, including frontline hospital workers, cannot afford their own healthcare bills. People in our community shouldn’t have to avoid care, or go into debt, because they can’t afford it.

  • Oregonians have a right to expect each nonprofit hospital to return a minimum level of charitable care back to our communities.
  • All but two hospitals in Oregon operate as nonprofits, allowing them to avoid paying income or property taxes, as well as benefiting from special tax-exempt bonds to build new buildings or remodel existing facilities.

ENSURING HEALTHCARE JOBS ARE GOOD JOBS

Oregon hospitals employ thousands of people to bathe, feed, and care for patients and keep the hospital clean and running. The health and welfare of these caretakers is an important component of the hospital’s ability to provide high-quality care and contribute positively to the community.

Many hospitals and health systems pay workers so little that they qualify for charity care and public assistance programs. As employers, hospitals should start with their own employees to ensure that they are able to make health decisions, live outside the challenges of poverty, and not depend on (or even qualify for) assistance from the government or safety net programs.

If you’d like to work with your co-workers to organize a union in your work place, please visit www.seiu49.org or call 503.236.4949 ext.240