The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or “ACA”) established new federal reporting requirements for not-for-profit 501(c)(3) hospitals beginning in 2013. One chief requirement is to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years and file a report and detailed findings of the hospital’s improvement implementation strategy both publicly and with the IRS. Failing to provide the required information leaves a hospital at risk for substantive fines and other sanctions.
Preparing a CHNA report is a complex undertaking, and there is a high potential of producing deficient CHNA reports. In fact, the original legislation includes provisions requiring hospitals to make self-disclosed report corrections to avoid tax penalties. Additionally, the IRS moved quickly in 2014 to issue further guidance on making corrections. This swift regulatory action can be seen as an early warning indicator of IRS concern.