Mass. AG investigates non-profits' help to communities

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has pulled together a task force to investigate whether not-for-profit hospitals and HMOs are meeting their obligations under the state's Community Benefits Program. Under the program, which was instituted in 1994, HMOs and hospitals don't have to meet standardized guidelines, but they do require the hospitals to formalize their approach to community benefits planning and delivery. Hospitals and HMOs must also file reports detailing how they met these requirements.

The new task force will look at whether the Program should develop new strategies for addressing the state's emerging public health needs, and also whether it should streamline annual reporting requirements. Despite the forming of the task force, there's no sign that Coakley feels the not-for-profits aren't meeting their burden, but I'm sure some of the state's not-for-profits will still be sweating a bit until the task force concludes.

To find out more about the program:
- read this Boston Business Journal piece
- review this overview of the Community Benefits Program

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