Community Health Needs Assessment

A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is the primary tool used by a hospital to determine its focus for the community benefit plan, that is, how the hospital will give back to the community in the form of health care and other health services to address unmet community needs. Best practices for Community Health Needs Assessment include using excellent data sources and creating a process that engages the community.

The federal health care reform Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each tax-exempt hospital organization to conduct a CHNA every three years and adopt an Implementation Strategy to meet the community health needs identified through the assessment. The IRS issued Notice (2011-52), which describes the regulatory provisions for needs assessments.

IRS Issues Final Rules, December 31, 2014

On December 31, 2014, the IRS issued the final rules that provide guidance to nonprofit hospitals.  The rules can be found in the Federal Register.