Get detailed financial information on specific nonprofit hospitals
The Association of Health Care Journalists has unveiled hospitalfinances.org, a website that offers free, searchable financial information on nonprofit hospitals across the United States. The site includes details of Form 990 filings, made by nonprofit hospitals and systems to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. A Form 990 is a tax return for tax-exempt organizations. In return for being untaxed, the nonprofit must provide the public with the 990, which summarizes the group’s finances, pay and governance practices. Hospitals and systems are also required to include details on how their activities benefit the public.
The site has been configured to be easily searchable by hospital name – even if the organization that files the 990 has a different name – city, ZIP code and state. The state search can cross borders if an organization owning multiple hospitals files from one state but the hospital is located in another state. The user can also search by individual names of hospital officials or key employees. The website – including a list of resources – is open to anyone, but only AHCJ members have access to bonus materials to help them use this information for their stories.
The hospitalfinances.org search results focus on key financial elements most often reviewed by health care journalists, including basic finances, compensation of top executives, community benefits and other details. The data come from electronic filings that the hospitals send to the IRS; the site is updated monthly. While the site does not include a complete copy of the 990, it does offer advice and links to acquire a copy of the form. The site offers references and resources for details about forms and schedules. It does not include for-profit or government-owned hospitals.