property taxes Polk County accountability

Broadlawns Medical Center has served the residents of Polk County since 1903. It is the largest publicly-funded hospital in Iowa. It operates a 200-bed acute care community hospital in Des Moines and two off-site clinics. It also has a family medicine residency program and fellowship programs in several health disciplines.

Under the Code of Iowa it is required to provide free care to indigent residents of Polk County, and property taxes are intended to cover those costs.

Once viewed as the “county hospital” or hospital of last resort, today Broadlawns is a full-service, state-of the art medical center of choice–a tribute to good management and board leadership. In addition, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, Broadlawn’s financial health has also improved. While property taxes were once essential to covering the cost of charity care, today property taxes exceed the amount of charity care provided. Net revenue from paying patients has increased substantially, prompting TACI to question the medical center’s continuing need for the same level of property taxes. 

For detailed financial analysis and a look at TACI’s research and policy analysis, and efforts to address the situation where taxpayers are paying twice for the same care, refer to the following links.

Broadlawns Financial Reports




 Broadlawns Property Tax Data

Communication with Broadlawns

Sept 2015

December 2015

March 2016

June 2017

Issue Briefs

The Role of Broadlawns in Post-Affordable Care Act Era – February 2016

Spend Because It’s There – October 2017