Study: Better community benefit plans needed

A new study suggests that non-profit community health systems aren't doing the best job at setting up, monitoring and reporting on community benefit programs. The study, by the University of Iowa College of Public Health, surveyed CEOs of 201 not-for-profit community health systems to determine their board structure and composition, practices, and culture. It then compared the results with recognized good governance benchmarks. The study found that only 36 percent of health systems have formal, board-adopted community benefit plans in place.

To address community benefit documentation gaps, the authors recommend that health systems adopt formal plans that clearly state the systems' plans for providing charitable services and other benefits. The plans should involve local needs assessments, reporting and progress monitoring, the authors concluded.

To learn more about the study:
- read this HFMA News item
- read the research report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
IL hospital must prove community benefit, or else. Report
Chicago voluntary hospitals face tax-exemption loss. Report
VHA: Charity policy must come from the top. Report
PwC: Time to prove community benefit. Report
Catholic Health Association proposes a new benefit standard for voluntary hospitals. Report

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