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Community Health Improvement

About Community Health Improvement

Not-for-profit health care organizations demonstrate their commitment to community service through organized and sustainable community benefit programs providing:

  • Free and discounted care to those unable to afford health care.
  • Care to low-income beneficiaries of Medicaid and other indigent care programs.
  • Services designed to improve community health and increase access to health care.

Community benefit is also the basis of the tax-exemption of not-for-profit hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in its Revenue Ruling 69–545, describes the community benefit standard for charitable tax-exempt hospitals. Since 2008, tax-exempt hospitals have been required to report their community benefit and other information related to tax-exemption on the IRS Form 990 Schedule H.

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, added new requirements for tax-exempt hospitals regarding:

  • Community health needs assessment and planning.
  • Financial assistance.
  • Charges.
  • Billing and collections.