Susan Phillips, LMSW of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital has recently conducted and completed a Community Health Needs Assessment in compliance with the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. The objectives were to identify the health strengths and needs of the hospital and our community, and to develop a three-year implementation plan that will begin to address identified health care gaps.
For years, hospitals that provide a significant amount of free and low-cost benefits and services to their communities have not been required to pay Federal taxes. These hospitals must be not-for-profit, and must meet certain requirements set by the Internal Revenue Service.
Schoolcraft Memorial has always been a non-profit organization, but in 2007 the hospital applied for and was granted a specific non-profit status as a charitable care organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). One of its many requirements is that hospitals under IRC Section 501(r), in addition to the community benefits and services they have always provided, are now required to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) once every three years.
In completing the CHNA, the hospital must consult with persons who represent the community’s interests, determine the priority health needs of the community, and develop an implementation strategy to meet those needs.
This assessment was recently completed by Susan Phillips, LMSW at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.
“I was very pleased when Tanya asked me to head up this project. I greatly enjoy working in the community on behalf of the hospital — we have some wonderful partners among the health and human service providers. I had no problem getting community professionals and volunteers to come to the table around the community health needs assessment and the development of an implementation strategy. They recognize how important this is for our community, and they have been extremely helpful in laying out a plan to begin to address the community’s needs. One thing we really know how to do in rural communities is network with one another. You can really make progress when you work together.”