Community Health Needs Assessment

The Affordable Care Act requires hospital organizations that seek to gain or maintain 501(c)3 status to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) at least once every three years, effective tax years beginning March 23, 2012, and develop an implementation plan to address needs identified by the assessment. The CHNA process goes beyond traditional hospital community benefit programs in that it requires the hospitals and health systems to incorporate input from specific populations, including public health experts, and encourages conducting assessments as teams with other local health care providers.

In late 2010, the four hospital systems in the Lansing, Michigan area realized that they needed to begin planning for a community health needs assessment and improvement planning, required by the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They reached out to the local public health departments, who each serve a different county in the three-county Capital Area. Local public health departments, besides being committed to community health assessment and improvement planning as an essential public health service, were interested in working in partnership to achieve greater improvements in health outcomes. Through several months of planning, the health departments and the hospitals reached the conclusion that working together was the best way of mobilizing resources to improve health. Thus, Healthy! Capital Counties (H!CC) was created. 

Eaton Rapids Medical Center found that the process of completing a CHNA with H!CC has been a very valuable process that has led to long-term collaboration with other organizations, in addition to the strategic use of time and resources.

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Community Health Needs Assessment

Implementation Plan

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