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Hospitals and hospital districts committed to a charitable purpose are exempt from income taxes. But how to confirm that these tax-exempt hospitals are actually living up to their mission—promoting health in and providing appropriate services to their community? Enter the community health needs assessment (CHNA).
Created as part of the Affordable Care Act, CHNAs must be conducted by not-for-profit hospitals and health systems periodically to maintain their tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To complete a CHNA, hospitals and health systems are to collaborate with local leaders to analyze the community’s health needs. They then must adopt an implementation strategy based on the needs identified in the assessment.