Massachusetts AG creates task force to scrutinize nonprofit hospitals' community benefit

A 16-member task force will review Massachusetts' community benefits guidelines and devise updates to the program for nonprofit hospitals and health maintenance organizations.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey created the task force to examine the AG's Community Benefits Guidelines, which were established in 1994 and updated in 2009. The program formalizes the approach nonprofit hospitals and HMOs take when implementing community benefit initiatives.

Under the voluntary guidelines, hospitals and HMOs submit annual reports to Ms. Healey's office detailing their community benefit efforts.

"There have been significant developments around community benefits at the federal and state levels since the AG's guidelines were last updated in 2009," according to a press release from the AG office. "The work of this task force will help modernize the guidelines in light of those developments and advances in the evidence base, and will explore recommendations to better align resources and standards across common programs to build the long-term capacity of our communities to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities."

Ms. Healey said program participants reported more than $750 million in community benefit expenditures annually between 2010 and 2015.

The task force will evaluate the program and issue recommendations during the next seven months, according to 22 WPLP

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