Member Area

Financial Assistance Policies

New Requirements for 501(c)(3) Hospitals Under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements that hospital organizations must satisfy in order to be described in section 501(c)(3), as well as new reporting and excise taxes.

Section 501(r), added to the Code by the ACA, imposes new requirements on 501(c)(3) organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations). Each 501(c)(3) hospital organization is required to meet four general requirements on a facility-by-facility basis:

  • establish written financial assistance and emergency medical care policies,
  • limit amounts charged for emergency or other medically necessary care to individuals eligible for assistance under the hospital´s financial assistance policy,
  • make reasonable efforts to determine whether an individual is eligible for assistance under the hospital’s financial assistance policy before engaging in extraordinary collection actions against the individual, and
  • conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) and adopt an an implementation strategy at least once every three years. (These CHNA requirements are effective for tax years beginning after March 23, 2012).

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is offered to patients who are in need of medically necessary care and who are uninsured, under insured or otherwise unable to pay for their care. 


American Hospital Association - Billings, Collections and Financial Assistance

HealthCare Financial Management Association - Patient Friendly Billing Project

211 Seventh Avenue North, Suite 400 Nashville, TN 37219
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