Community Health Needs Assessment

Generate an actionable assessment for your community health needs.

Population health strategies in the not-for-profit hospital world are more than essential to your organization’s bottom line. Beyond a responsibility to support and improve healthcare in your community, Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) are now a federal mandate. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) established federal reporting requirements for maintaining 501(c)(3) status that include showing how your hospital is addressing the greatest needs in your area through a CHNA. This report must be filed every three years publicly and with the IRS.

The risks of producing an inadequate CHNA can also be substantial for your facility. Failing to address core CHNA requirements can incur a $50,000 excise tax from the IRS in addition to other penalties. In a QHR study of 139 not-for-profit hospital reports and websites, we discovered the following:*

  • Up to 40% had a deficiency in meeting core CHNA requirements
  • 38 to 45% had a deficiency in meeting core CHNA process steps
  • 68% confronted potential difficulty in measuring progress of CHNA implementation
  • Up to 78% had a deficiency in documenting at least one detail process step specified in IRS regulatory guidance**

While the CHNA documentation can be challenging to assemble, it can be widely beneficial for your hospital or facility in broadening and deepening community involvement while also informing strategic plans, improving stakeholder communications, and enhancing marketing efforts.

QHR’s consultants have helped over 60 hospitals with our proprietary assessment framework, tailored for each organization’s specific needs and community.

Featured Capabilities

  • Evaluate existing CHNA reports for completeness
  • Develop a report from the ground up
  • Produce an individualized assessment and plan
  • Generate a usable, actionable report


* QHR examined a 5% sample (139 valid hospitals) of the 2,722 CMS listed not-for-profit U.S. hospitals for the existence of a Widely Available CHNA. Excluded hospitals: acquired not-for-profit status on a basis other than a 501(c)(3) exemption; converted status for various reasons; did not have a web­site.

** Analysis did not evaluate quality (i.e., how well or poorly a CHNA complied with the regulation). Consideration was only for evidence that the report addressed the requirements in some fashion. No opinion was formed about whether the report was “conspicuously” posted on a website, as is required to meet the “Widely Available” IRS criteria.


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