Minnesota hospitals ranked among 10 worst in the nation for community spending


Contact: Sam Fettig
(c) 612-741-0662

Lauren Bloomquist
(c) 651-376-9709

(St. Paul) – March 26, 2024 – A new study released today by the Lown Institute, an independent healthcare think tank, finds that 90 percent of Minnesota nonprofit hospitals give back less to their communities than they receive in tax breaks, with Mayo Clinic singled out as among the worst offenders in the nation. This ranks Minnesota among the 10 worst states in the nation for the share of hospitals who avoid their obligations to communities, while states like Texas and Mississippi lead the nation. In Minnesota, the total deficit of funds denied to meaningful community contributions in exchange for hospital tax breaks totals $1.1 billion, more than enough to wipe out all medical debt in Minnesota.

“Minnesotans are proud of our nation-leading healthcare system, but we want our hospitals to serve people, not profits,” said Chris Rubesch, RN, Minnesota Nurses Association President. “Minnesota legislators must step up to hold nonprofit hospitals accountable to the patients, workers, and communities they are meant to serve.”

In exchange for exemptions from a variety of federal, state, and local taxes, nonprofit hospitals are supposed to spend comparable amounts in the community on things like charity care, patient financial assistance, substance abuse treatment, and other programs. But even when nonprofit hospitals report spending on community obligations, these dollars often go toward expenses that fail to meet a reasonable standard of benefit to the community. This can include spending on billboard advertising and self-promotion at events, contracts with union-busting consulting firms, and even executive compensation.

Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) are pushing for a new law – the Tax-Exempt Accountability Law (TEAL), H.F. 4870 / S.F. 4948, part of nurses’ Healing Greed Agenda – to prohibit hospital executives from falsely claiming self-serving costs as community benefits, and to provide more transparency and oversight into how nonprofit hospitals report their tax-exempt spending.

In addition to TEAL, MNA nurses are urging the Minnesota Legislature to support an audit by the Office of the Legislative Auditor into nonprofit hospital community benefit spending in Minnesota. This audit request is one of ten being considered by the Legislative Audit Commission, and would provide reliable, local data into how Minnesota hospitals spend in our communities in exchange for the tax benefits they receive.

1 Comment

  1. These hospitals in MN need a leadership change. Maybe calling the nurses…RNs, LPNs, CRNAs, NPs, etc should all get together, maybe even with the doctors, and march into these money hungry greedy CEOs, CFOs, COOs and the upper administration and tell them, as a group of thousands, you are officially removed/relieved from you duties and we will re-distribute your undeserved wealth to the employees and the patients we serve. The CEO of Fairview, gave himself a 90% raise to $3.55 million not including quarterly, annual bonuses and other benefits while the rest of us had to strike and claw our way to a much deserved raise that doesn’t even come close to the cost of living increase! The greedy upper administration needs to go…even if it’s by force….no hospital should have an employee of any ranking that makes that much at the expense of its community and its employees and patients when they don’t do any sort of direct patient care….its very difficult to go to work ever day, motivated, knowing the pathetic paycheck we get all while the upper administration gives us a damn donut and coffee for 2 hours in the lunch room as “appreciation”. I’ll tell you where he can stick that donut!

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