The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires that all 501(c)(3) hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) to maintain tax-exempt status. QMCG provides the support you need to develop a CHNA report and implementation strategy that complies with this requirement. Specifically, we can help address the following frequently asked questions.
The IRS rules allow some flexibility. In most cases, it should be defined geographically (zip codes, counties, MSAs, etc.), but in special circumstances (e.g., children’s hospitals, cancer hospitals, specialty units) may also be described by patient populations. Should include not only those the hospital would like to serve, but those available to serve (including through emergency department). Often, this will be the hospital’s service area which is generally a geographic area comprising 75 percent of the admissions.
Data for the CHNA should include federal, state and local sources and identify the following:
Data can be obtained from a variety of sources, including the following:
Once the data is compiled, identify deficiencies in hospital capacity and physician resources for the projected population. Identify disease and risk factor behaviors that are significant to the service area and determine if the issues are related to an unmet need.
The following organizations or groups may be considered for community input:
One way gather and then assess and use community input is to form a group of interested stakeholders from both within and outside of the hospital (could be called an “Advisory Council”) to assist with considering the data and input and identifying and prioritizing needs.
The hospital should review each significant need and consider the following:
For each significant need addressed in a CHNA, the implementation strategy should include the following:
While those may be a resource considered as a part of the CHNA, it is extremely unlikely that those activities followed the steps and included the level of external input required for CHNAs.
All significant needs are not required to be addressed. The implementation strategy must address each significant health need, indicating whether the need is one the hospital will address or not. If the need is not being addressed by the hospital, indicate the reason (e.g., limited resources, lacking expertise, etc.).
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