Community Health Needs Assessment
HealthTechS3 has experience in facilitating Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA). Our consultants work with you and your community to help develop a CHNA that is focused on improving health in your community.
The following is a broad outline of the CHNA process.
1. Define the community it serves
Defining the community serves as the foundation on which both current and subsequent assessment and implementation strategies are developed. The final regulations clarify that the “community served” may not be outside of those areas in which the facilities patient populations reside. The regulations also state that facilities may not define their communities in a way that excludes medically underserved, low-income or minority populations.
2. Assess the health needs of the community
Assessing community needs involves first collecting data that describes significant unmet needs for health care, but also significant health needs arising from social, environmental and behavioral factors that influence health.
3. Document the CHNA in a written report that is adopted by an authorized body of the hospital facility
The governing board of the facility must approve the written report. The written report must include the following elements that are outlined in the regulations and are included in IRS Form 990, Schedule H.
- A definition of the community served and a description of how it was determined
- Demographics of the community
- Existing health care facilities and resources within the community that are available to respond to the health needs of the community
- How data was obtained
- The significant health needs of the community
- Primary and chronic disease needs and other health issues of uninsured persons, low-income persons and minority groups
- The process for identifying and prioritizing community health needs and services to meet the community health needs
- The process for consulting with persons representing the community’s interests
- Information gaps that limit the hospital facility’s ability to assess the community’s health needs
- Input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community serviced by the facility, including those with special knowledge of or expertise in public health
4. Develop an implementation strategy
An implementation strategy must be developed, and approved by the governing board, on or before the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the taxable year in which the facility finished conducting the CHNA.
The implementation plan must include a description of the actions the facility intends to take to address any significant health needs including resources to address the need. This includes interventions designed to prevent illness or to address social, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence community health.
The implementation plan must also include an evaluation of the impact of any actions that were taken since the facility finished conducting its immediately preceding CHNA.
5. Make the Community Health Needs Assessment widely available
The written CHNA report must be conspicuously posted on the facility website. Facilities must provide individuals who ask how to access a copy with the direct website address or URL of the web page on which the CHNA Report is posted. In addition, the website must clearly inform readers how to download the report, the download may not require special equipment or fee and the report must be maintained on the website until two subsequent CHNA reports are made available. Paper copies must be available for public inspection without charge.