Community Benefit

Community benefit activities are programs and services designed to improve health in communities and increase access to healthcare. They are integral to the mission of not-for-profit healthcare organizations, and are the basis of tax exemption.

Community Health Needs Assessment

The Affordable Care Act requires each not-for-profit hospital to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) at least once every three years to retain its tax exempt status. CHOP’s individualized CHNA, conducted in 2012, was prepared by Delaware Valley Healthcare Council (DVHC) and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC).

Community benefit activities are responsive to identified community needs and are not for marketing purposes. Through the use of extensive data collection and analysis, CHOP’s CHNA identified needs that can be categorized into eight areas of focus, as follows:

  • Access to primary care and health education
  • Cultural and language barriers to access care
  • Chronic disease management for asthma
  • Overweight/obesity prevention and intervention
  • Access to special programs for adolescents
  • Access to behavioral and mental health services
  • Navigating the complex health-care system
  • Access to dental, vision and specialty care for children

Examples of community benefit include the following:

  • Health services provided to vulnerable or underserved populations
  • Financial or in-kind support of public health programs
  • Donations of funds, property or other resources that contribute to a community priority
  • Healthcare cost containment activities
  • Health education, screening and prevention services

Community benefit criteria

To be considered as a community benefit, activities must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Generate a low or negative margin
  • Respond to needs of special populations, such as children, minorities, poor persons with disabilities, chronically mentally ill, and other disenfranchised persons
  • Supply services or programs that would likely be discontinued (or would need to be provided by another not-for-profit or government provider) if the decision were made on a purely financial basis
  • Involve education or research that improves overall community health