In February 2012, The Hospital Community Benefit Program, established by the Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), published the third issue brief in a series, Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA: Partnerships for Community Health Improvement. The series, published across a three-year span, is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

The first two issue briefs outlined new ACA requirements for nonprofit hospitals and posed policy questions they suggested. The third takes a closer look at ways localities and states have responded to challenges. For tax years after March 23, 2012, this includes the ACA requirement that nonprofit hospitals report that they had conducted a community health needs assessment. Nonprofit hospitals would also need to adopt an implementation strategy addressing the needs of the community in which they served.

 The brief examines participation in diverse collaborations concentrated on health needs assessments within the community, the establishment of priorities, and the implementation of health improvement initiatives. Examples show effective partnerships between public health agencies, nonprofit hospitals, and communities, which could drive health improvements and systematic change.

 The ACA’s community benefit framework offers opportunities for partnerships among state and local health departments and nonprofit hospitals, satisfying the hospital’s federal community benefit responsibility. By including community-based organizations and community members, such partnerships could:

  • Harness diverse community perspectives.
  • Improve planning processes and community assessment.
  • Integrate fresh sources of community expertise.
  • Enable data source sharing.

Such partnerships could also leverage private and public resources to advance initiatives and improve the health status within the entire community.

To read or download the full issue brief, click here (PDF).