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Crisis Case Study 2

Client: Midwestern 300-bed medical center

Business challenge
Respond to a State Department of Revenue ruling that removed their property-tax exemption, making them the only not-for-profit hospital in the United States without such an exemption.

Objective
Convince the people of the State, their elected officials and the Department of Revenue that the ruling was unfair.

Planning process
This was a particularly challenging assignment, since the basis for the ruling was built on the alleged overly aggressive collection of outstanding medical bills. These alleged practices occurred under a previous hospital administration, but the hospital, which was already losing money, was saddled with an annual tax bill of more than $1 million.

After ensuring that current collection practices were fair and equitable, a two-pronged campaign began – legal petitioned the government for redress and communications shaped and delivered the message that we were doing the right things for the community and its people.

Recommendation/implementation
We trained a spokesperson and laid out and executed an aggressive internal and external publicity campaign.

Results/outcome
In progress.  No ruling as of yet from tax court.

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