Nurses Union Promotes Landmark Reporting for Nonprofit Hospitals

April 2009

UNAC/UHCP supports new reporting requirement for non-profit hospitals that
for the first time will provide data on charity care on a cost basis

Sacramento, CA – Representatives from the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) appeared before the California Board of Equalization on Wednesday, April 15, to support a first of its kind supplemental reporting requirement for non-profit hospitals in an effort to improve disclosure requirements. The Board voted to implement the supplemental reporting requirement.

The Board of Equalization has sought to access more reliable data to justify the millions of dollars spent by taxpayers on California’s non-profit hospitals. As a regulatory agency over these entities, the Board has a fiscal responsibility to the state’s approximately 37 million residents to assure non-profit hospital’s compliance with Board requirements. The Board has determined that supplemental reporting would make regulatory reviews more effective and transparent.

“The nurses and health care professionals we represent are dedicated to improving the quality of care for their patients,” stated Kathy Sackman, RN, president of UNAC/UHCP. “Supplemental reporting for non-profit hospitals promotes an environment of greater transparency and greater accountability to California’s taxpayers and will create a more efficient health care setting focused on maximizing these tax dollars to the benefit of the patients who utilize these services.”

Recently, the California State Auditor conducted a study that found that the uncompensated-care costs provided by California’s nonprofit and for-profit hospitals were not significantly different. The State Auditor also found it virtually impossible to quantify the economic value provided by California’s nonprofit hospitals due to a lack of uniform reporting requirements.

“It is vital that appropriate reporting methods are in place to ensure transparency within any health care system that is funded, in large part, by taxpayer dollars,” said Sackman. “Californians want to know that their taxes are being used wisely, and the supplemental reporting requirements for non-profit hospitals is a significant step in that direction.”

# # #