Pennsylvania Hospitals Identify Population Health Needs through Community Health Needs Assessments
Community health needs assessments are being used by a
majority of hospitals to assess population health needs. The process uses quantitative and qualitative methods to collect and analyze
data to understand health within a specific community.
Once completed, community health needs assessment data informs hospital and community decisions about how to approach community
health problems, and develop, implement, and evaluate improvement plans.
Affordable Care Act Requirements
Hospitals often work with other community organizations that have shared goals when undertaking a community health needs assessment.
Hospitals must adopt plans to meet the health needs identified, make the plans available to the public, and measure the success of the plans. For tax years beginning after March 23, 2012, hospitals must describe on their Form 990 how they are addressing these needs.
If they can’t meet certain needs, they must explain why. Any hospital that fails to meet the Affordable Care Act requirements for community health needs assessments is subject to a $50,000 excise tax.
Internal Revenue Service Requirements
The Affordable Care Act implements the needs assessment requirement through changes in the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Service's Schedule H form and instructions address how not-for-profit hospitals report community health needs assessment activities on their Form 990. Additionally, Schedule H, Part V, incorporates the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(r) as contained in the Affordable Care Act.