Caring for Our Community | UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge
UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge

Caring for Our Community

UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge believes that, as an organization exempt from federal income tax, it has a responsibility to the public to provide community benefits, including charity care. When reporting community benefits, UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge has adopted guidelines from collaboration between the Veterans Health Administration and the Catholic Health Association. This approach has support from U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to improve tax-exempt organization transparency. The IRS adopted this approach as part of the Form 990 redraft for tax year 2008. 

These standards define community benefits as programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. These community benefits increase access to health care and improve community health. To qualify as community benefits, the programs or activities cannot be provided for marketing purposes.

A community benefit must respond to an identified community need and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Generate a low or negative financial operating margin (or profit)
  • Respond to needs of special populations, such as persons living in poverty and other disenfranchised or economically disadvantaged persons
  • Supply services or programs that would likely be discontinued - or would need to be provided by another nonprofit organization or government provider - if the decision, of whether or not to provide the service or program, was made on a purely financial basis
  • Respond to public health needs
  • Involve education or research that improves overall community health

Community Benefit Includes:

  • Charity care (Care for which hospitals never expect to be reimbursed after determining a patient's inability to pay.)
  • Government-sponsored indigent health care - unpaid costs of public programs 
    • Medicaid
    • State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
    • Medically indigent programs
  • Community Benefit Services

Community Benefit Does Not Include:

  • Bad debt (Uncollectible charges excluding contractual adjustments (negotiated discounts), arising from the failure to pay by patients whose health care has not been classified as charity care.) Contractual allowances or quick-pay discounts
  • Uncompensated Medicare (Cost of providing services that Medicare doesn't pay.)
  • Low or negative margin services resulting from opera rational inefficiencies 

Criteria for Determining Community Benefit Services:

The cost of the program or services can be counted as quantifiable community benefit if the program:

  • Addresses an identified community need
  • Includes low-income and underserved persons
  • Has a relationship to the organization's mission
  • Meets a need that otherwise would have to be met by the government or another nonprofit organization

Do not count as quantifiable community benefit if the program is:

  • Provided for marketing purposes
  • For employees only
  • Required of all health care providers by rules or standards
  • Questionable as to whether it should be reported

 To learn more about Community Benefits and UnityPoint Health, click here.