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New community benefit law won’t alter Vail Health’s priorities

Ali Longwell | Vail Daily

It could, however, add administrative burden and increase health care costs

Nonprofit hospitals in Colorado that receive federal, state and local tax exemptions are expected to provide a certain amount of community benefit. And starting in August 2023, these hospitals — including Vail Health — will have new reporting requirements for how they spend toward “community benefit.”

The new requirements are part of a bill that Gov. Jared Polis signed into law on Wednesday, May 10, meant to bring about greater transparency for nonprofit health organizations.

The need for the legislation came out of the 2023 Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing annual report on hospital community benefit accountability report. The department reported that Colorado nonprofit hospitals invested “$965 million in community benefits in 2020-21, not including Medicaid shortfall.”

(Conversely, a Colorado Health Association report on hospital community benefit spending reported that Colorado hospitals “directly invested more than $1.9 billion into the health and well-being of their communities” in 2021.)

While the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing acknowledged that these contributions were “significant” in its report, it saw a need for the state to “improve the state’s understanding of where the community dollars were actually invested while increasing hospitals’ transparency and accountability to their communities going forward.”

READ THE FULL VAIL DAILY ARTICLE to find out more about Vail Health and community benefit. >