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North Carolina hospitals profit from ‘charitable giving’

When people think about non-profits, they tend to envision organizations like GoodWill, Habitat for Humanity, or the American Red Cross. Hardly anyone pictures a ritzy metropolitan hospital with granite fountains, marble floors, zen gardens, and huge medical bills. Yet in America, where many hospitals receive the tax benefits that come from 501(c)(3) non-profit designations, some hospitals’ actual business practices are far from what most would expect.

On the surface, it seems to make sense that hospitals can receive non-profit status. At times, doctors offer care free of charge to low-income individuals, so granting hospitals tax benefits may be a worthy cause. However, no health provider should benefit more from the tax exemption than the value of their supposed charitable care. The sad truth is that most of North Carolina’s non-profit hospitals are not living up to this standard.

Read the full commentary in the Carolina Journal.