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How new state bill could impact Vail Health

Ali Longwell | Vail Daily

What community benefit looks like in Eagle County through Vail Health and its partners

Colorado legislators are working on a bill that could create new reporting requirements and rules around how nonprofit hospitals — of which Vail Health is one — spend toward and report “community benefit.”

“When we talk about community benefit, most hospitals in the United States operate as nonprofits, and as such are exempt from most federal, state and local taxes. This exemption is intended to be an acknowledgment of the community benefit that’s provided by the nonprofit institutions, in this case, the hospitals,” said Nico Brown, Vail Health’s chief strategy officer.

According to the bill text, these exemptions “save Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals millions of dollars of tax liability each year.”

Currently, these community benefit requirements are overseen by the Internal Revenue Service, which doesn’t specify how hospitals need to spend toward “community benefit” but does manage related requirements around how hospitals provide and account for this term.

The term “community benefit” has a broad and ever-changing scope, but generally speaks to programs and activities that respond to community needs.