Father and son giving a fist bump

Community Benefit - 990 Tax Information

UnityPoint Health believes we have a fiduciary responsibility to the public to provide community benefit, including charity care. As part of reporting community benefit, UnityPoint Health has adopted the same guidelines used by Catholic Health Association. This approach has support from U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in their attempts to improve tax-exempt organization transparency. The IRS has preliminarily adopted this approach as part of the Form 990 redraft for 2008.

Community benefit is a group of programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. They increase access to health care and improve community health. Community benefit programs are not 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 margin
  • Respond to needs of special populations, such as persons living in poverty and other disenfranchised persons
  • Supply services or programs that would likely be discontinued if the decision 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
  • Government-sponsored indigent health care-unpaid costs of public programs
  • State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
  • Medically indigent programs
  • Community Benefit Services

Community Benefit Does Not Include:

  • Bad debt
  • Contractual allowances or quick-pay discounts
  • Any portion of charity care costs already included in the subsidized health care services category
  • Medicare shortfall
  • Principles for Determining Community Benefit Services:

The following qualify as a 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

The following do not qualify as a 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