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A mixed-methods approach to conducting Internal Revenue Service-compliant community health needs assessments: a case example for nonprofit hospital leaders

Authors Oglesby W, Slenkovich K

Received 23 July 2014

Accepted for publication 12 August 2014

Published 29 October 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 67—74

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHL.S71596

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman


Willie H Oglesby, Ken Slenkovich

Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA

Background: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created new requirements for nonprofit hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) at least once every 3 years, with a significant tax penalty for noncompliance. While some resources exist to help nonprofit hospital leaders conduct various aspects of a CHNA, few reflect the new Internal Revenue Service requirements.
Methods: Many different models of CHNAs have emerged over the years. Although each has its unique features, the essential elements of a CHNA include engaging stakeholders, defining the community, gathering sufficient representative data, prioritizing information, and reporting results. In this paper, we expand upon this basic approach by offering a practical step-by-step guide to conducting CHNAs that meets new Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Results: We developed and tested this methodology in partnership with several nonprofit hospital systems in Northeast Ohio, USA. In this paper, we discuss our use of the methodology and identify recommendations for other nonprofit hospital leaders.
Conclusion: The methodology presented in this paper is a cost-effective approach to satisfying new CHNA requirements and nonprofit hospital leaders should consider using it or modifying it to fit their unique needs.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, CHNA, community benefit, community hospital

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