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Professor Robert Field Offers Insights on Hospital Finances in Philadelphia Inquirer and at Colloquium in France

Professor Robert Field

November 13, 2017

Philadelphia’s non-profit hospitals have much to lose, under proposed GOP tax reforms, Professor Robert Field said in an essay published by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Nov. 10.

GOP-sponsored tax reforms would eliminate exemptions for donations and interest on bonds, making it much harder for non-profit hospitals to raise money for construction projects, Field said.

“The changes would put nonprofits and for-profit facilities on a more equal footing,” Field said. “But for-profit hospitals can raise money by issuing stock to private investors, a funding source they rely on extensively. Nonprofits have no stock to sell, so the proposed changes would put them at a significant disadvantage.”

President Trump and other Republicans have also said they will seek provisions to the tax law that would repeal the insurance individual mandate that was created under the Affordable Care Act, Field added, noting that such a measure would cause 13 million Americans to lose coverage and thereby lack the means to pay for hospital care.

“Tax reform has been billed as a way to stimulate economic growth,” Field wrote. “But for one major industry that serves as a major source of employment, not to mention its role as a guardian of our lives and health, it would do just the opposite.”

In October, Field was invited to speak at a colloquium of French researchers, hospital administrators and government officials sponsored by the École des Hautes Études in Santé Publique in Paris focused on collaborations between physicians and hospitals.

An authority on health law and policy, Field presented “Hospital Collaborations in the USA and France,” which featured reflections on differences in culture, values and approaches, mirroring the Accountable Care Organization and the Territorial Hospital Groups.