Fact Check: Does Money from the County Count as Revenue?

By Mathew Keller RN, JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

In a recent communication to its employees, HCMC claims that this space’s use of HCMC’s Form 990 financial disclosures to the IRS are misleading. Why? The Form 990 “includes as income $20 million in county capital funding that is restricted for maintaining our county-owned facilities and one-time capital funding for the new building.”

In order to get a better picture of HCMC’s finances, HCMC asks the reader to discount from the County hospital’s finances the money the County hospital receives from the County for maintenance of “old” buildings and construction of a “new” building.  That means the county is funding a strategy of improving and increasing facility space while HCMC is pursuing a strategy of decreasing staff to support those facilities.  That’s not exactly being on the same page.

Without delving fully into this argument, let the federal government decide.  The IRS requires that such capital funds be reported as revenue—hence why it’s properly reported in HCMC’s Form 990 financial disclosures. To then turn around and argue that the money shouldn’t count as revenue seems more than a little disingenuous. Even if this $20 million is  restricted to capital improvements, why is HCMC asking for money for the future when its present is so unstable?

For the record, such capital contributions are not a new thing and are certainly not “one-time.” According to county records, HCMC received $100 million in county capital improvement outlays over the past 10 years, and “it is the parties’ expectation that the need for capital assistance from the County to HHS [HCMC] in the form of capital contributions, and/or financing will likely continue” over the next 10 years.