WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital earns Top Hospital designation for spending ‘fair share’ on community

BARNESVILLE — Nonprofit hospitals are exempt from paying most federal, state and local taxes in exchange for providing free or discounted care and programs that address community health needs — things like substance abuse treatment, affordable housing, primary care clinics, and mental health services.

A new report from the Lown Institute, an independent healthcare think tank, finds that Barnesville Hospital spent more on financial assistance and community investment than the estimated value of its tax exemption in 2021, giving the hospital what the institute calls a “fair share” surplus.

Barnesville Hospital is among only 20 percent of nonprofit hospitals nationwide to have such a surplus.

In total, U.S. hospitals with fair share surpluses invested more than $4 billion dollars in excess of their tax breaks in 2021.

The vast majority of hospitals in Lown’s study did not meet their obligations as nonprofit entities.

According to the most recent data available, Barnesville Hospital spent $325,451 more than the estimated value of its tax exemption on charity care and community investment.

“Barnesville Hospital is committed to providing top-notch care to our community,” David

Phillips, president and CEO of Barnesville Hospital, said. “We work diligently to support our local community through various donations and community activities. We are constantly growing and developing to better serve our community.”

“Hospitals increasingly recognize the importance of going beyond their walls to improve community health,” Vikas Saini, M.D., president of the Lown Institute, said. “These hospitals are leading the way in essential community health investments.”

Lown calculated Fair Share Spending by comparing the estimated value of hospitals’ tax exemptions to the amount spent on financial assistance and meaningful community investment, including community health improvement activities, cash and in-kind contributions to community groups, community building activities, and subsidized health services.

Data was sourced from IRS Form 990 for fiscal year ending 2021. Only private, nonprofit hospitals with available IRS tax filings were included.

The Lown Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility is the only ranking to include metrics of health equity and value of care alongside patient outcomes, creating a holistic view of hospitals as total community partners.

The Lown Institute is a nonpartisan think tank that generates bold ideas for a radically better system of health. Hospitals do not pay or apply to be graded by Lown. Learn more at LownHospitalsIndex.org.


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