Industry News

Healthcare Education Group Announces Webinar to Address the Effects of the Proposed Senate and House Tax Reform Plans

By Henry Kronk
November 23, 2017

On Monday, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) announced they will be offering a webinar to explore the potential impacts of the House and Senate tax reform bills. The presentation will occur on November 28 and focus on 501(c) hospitals, healthcare systems, and other tax-exempt organizations.

Speakers will include experts from the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section, including Jason Lacey, a partner at Foulston Siefkin and Meghan McKernan, a shareholder at Gilmore & Bell. They will present “Tax Reform: What Could It Mean for Your Organization,” via livestream.

“If either of these bills are enacted into law, there would be a significant financial impact on tax-exempt healthcare organizations,” said president and CEO of HFMA Joseph Fifer. “Healthcare leaders should get up to speed on these fast-breaking legislative developments now. Effects could start to hit by the end of this calendar year.”

What the Bills Could Do

The numerous provisions on the table for both bills pose several outcomes for healthcare institutions and non-profits in general. The tax exemption for hospital private activity and advanced refunding bonds could potentially make for huge shakeups on the financial side of hospital operations. More broadly, all non-profits will be affected by the proposed changes to employee benefit deductions.

Another significant measure for non-profits lies in a more zoomed-out understanding of what the tax plan spells. As the federal government collects less overall in taxes, that means less availability of government grants and contracts. At the moment, the federal government provides collectively about a third of revenue for charitable non-profits.

These are just a few of the effects stated in the bill itself. But according to the National Council of Non-Profits, the fallout for 501(c) organizations may extend far beyond quarterly filings. It particularly poses a risk to charitable non-profits. As the group writes, “This bill nominally retains the existing itemized deduction for charitable donations, but by nearly doubling the standard deduction, it effectively puts this important incentive to give out of reach for 95% of American taxpayers.”

A recent study by the Lilly School of Philanthropy projected that the increase in deduction limit would result in a loss of up to $13 bn to charitable non-profits every year.

The current plan also involves no universal deduction, which allows American taxpayers to deduct any gifts to charitable non-profits.

The webinar is designed for upper level management among healthcare institutions. It will take place from 2:00-3:00 CST on Tuesday, November 28. It’s free for any HFMA member, although non-members must pay a fee. Those who plan to tune in must register in advance.

The HFMA is the foremost membership organization in healthcare finance in the U.S. It currently claims more than 38,000 members. The association seeks to network throughout the industry, reach a consensus, and among other things, educate its members.

The HFMA and Healthcare Education

In the world of eLearning, HFMA offers webinars, both scheduled in advance and on-demand, virtual conferences, and a wide variety of online certificate programs aimed at advancing healthcare financial practices.

Like many independent industry eLearning we have covered lately, online educational efforts by the HFMA pose the ability to educate a large and diffuse work force at nearly a moment’s notice.

Beyond Healthcare Administration

When it comes to the Senate and House tax bills, healthcare’s financial administration is just one sector that stands to suffer serious changes or increased financial burdens.

Online students of all kinds stand to face serious changes to how they procure loans and pay for their education.

To begin, a major portion of the House bill is a 1.4% excise tax on universities with over 500 students and more than $100,000 of endowment per student.

Graduate students also may face an additional hurdle. As things stand, these learners frequently receive some benefit on their tuition in one form or another. The new plan would tax these benefits just as it will someone’s income, placing a higher financial burden on them.