State Laws and Nonprofit Hospital Community Benefit Spending

Emily K. Johnson, Rose Hardy, Tatiane Santos, Jonathon P. Leider, Richard C. Lindrooth, Gregory J. Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E9-E17
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant nos. R01 HS024959).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • community benefit
  • nonprofit hospitals
  • state laws


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