2022 Results


How much are hospitals giving back to their communities?

VIDEO: Our April 12, 2022 launch event featured Lown experts along with Dale Folwell, North Carolina State Treasurer, Paul Hattis, Lown Institute Senior Fellow, and Jennifer Valenzuela, Chief People and Equity Officer at Health Leads.

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is the first ranking to examine meaningful community benefit spending for nonprofit hospital systems nationwide. (press release | methodology

The Institute calculated “fair share spending” for more than 1800 hospitals across 275 nonprofit hospital systems by comparing each system’s spending on charity care and community investment to the value of its tax exemption. 

Data sources were hospital tax filings from fiscal year ending 2019, the most recent year available for most hospitals. Information on hospital systems’ CARES Act grant funding and excess revenue were obtained through hospitals’ public audited financial statements. 

Key Takeaways

  • Out of 275 nonprofit hospital systems evaluated, 227 spent less on charity care and community investment than the estimated value of their tax breaks — what we call a “fair share deficit.”
  • The total fair share deficit for these 227 hospital systems amounted to $18.4 billion in 2019.
  • The ten systems with the largest deficits account for $5.6 billion (30%) of the total fair share deficit. Many of these systems also received hundreds of millions from the CARES Act in 2020 and ended the year with high net incomes.
  • In seven states, the total fair share deficit for all hospitals exceeded $1 billion (CA, PA, NY, OH, IL, MI, MA).

Media inquiries should be directed to Aaron Toleos, vice president of communications for the Lown Institute, at atoleos@lowninstitute.org.