PRESS RELEASE: Lown Institute awarded $1.5M to study U.S. hospital tax exemptions, financial practices

BOSTON, MA–Arnold Ventures (AV) has recently supported the Lown Institute with grant funding for two projects, allowing the organization to significantly expand its research into the financial behavior of U.S. hospitals. The total funding for both projects is $1.5 million over two years. The Lown Institute, a health care think tank, is a leader in measuring hospital social responsibility and is the creator of the Lown Hospitals Index.

The first AV supported project will examine nonprofit hospital tax exemptions and how they relate to spending on patient financial assistance and other meaningful community investment. Previous research by the Lown Institute into what it has termed “fair share spending” shows that U.S. hospitals received $14 billion more in tax benefits than they gave back to communities in 2020.

The second project will study the financial assistance, billing, and collection policies of hospitals. The Institute will create a national database that documents the policies of thousands of U.S. hospitals, including the extent to which they will deny care, pursue legal action, and send patients to collection agencies. 

“Our partnership with the Lown Institute will yield important insights into the financial practices of hospitals,” said Alexandra Spratt, director of health care at Arnold Ventures. “By delving into these critical areas, we pave the way for a more equitable and responsible healthcare landscape.”


About the Lown Institute

Founded in 1973 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown, MD, the Lown Institute is a national expert on social responsibility in the health care sector. Through its pioneering research, the Institute works to create a system that advances high-value care, healing over profits, health equity, and human connection. The Lown Hospitals Index is a signature project of the Institute and features measures never used before like racial inclusivity, avoidance of overuse, and pay equity.

About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy working to improve the lives of all Americans by pursuing evidence-based solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We fund research to better understand the root causes of broken systems that limit opportunity and create injustice. Our focus areas include Criminal Justice, Higher Education, Health, and Public Finance and Infrastructure.

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