A Congressional Research Service report issued August 6 examined recent IRS and congressional measures to determine whether nonprofit hospitals are fulfilling the requirements to qualify for taxexempt status and whether they are properly filing documentation on their activities. Last December, the IRS released a finalized Form 990 requiring taxexempt hospitals to submit Schedule H. The new reporting requirement is limited to joint ventures in which directors, trustees and physicians with staff privileges own a combined 10 percent of a given venture. The report noted that the new Schedule H has been controversial. However, according to the IRS, the unique relationship between hospitals and physicians resulting from their special status of having medical staff privileges without regard to employment appears to have no clear analogy in other exempt organizations contexts. The IRS evaluates exempt hospitals using a still-developing “community benefit standard” established in a 1969 revenue ruling. The community benefit standard incorporates a “charity care standard,” requiring exempt hospitals to provide free or reduced-cost care to low-income patients, set in a 1956 revenue ruling. Pending legislation (H.R. 973) introduced in February 2007 by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) would create a new income tax credit for physicians who provide charity care. The credit would direct $1,000 to physicians providing 25 to 30 hours of volunteer or pro bono medical care, and $2,000 to physicians providing at least 50 hours of medical care.