IRS Releases Proposed Community Health Needs Assessment Guidance, Seeks Comment

The Internal Revenue Service has released proposed community health needs assessment guidance for tax-exempt hospitals and is seeking comment on the proposed criteria.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates tax-exempt hospitals perform a community health needs assessment every three years, effective March 23, 2012, or risk a $50,000 fine each taxable year. Hospitals must also, on their IRS Form 990s, report what they are doing to address the needs identified in the needs assessment, describe any needs not being addressed and explain why they are not being addressed.

The proposed guidance outlines which hospitals will be required to complete community health needs assessments and establishes standards for the assessment process and reporting.

Highlights of the proposed guidance include:

The IRS previously issued Notice 2010-39 proposing new requirements for tax-exempt hospitals as required by the PPACA; however, in response to requests by the American Hospital Association and others, the IRS has issued this proposed additional guidance on specific health needs assessment issues.

Comments on the proposed guidance are being accepted until Sept. 23.

Comments should be sent to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2011-52), Room 5203
P.O. Box 7604
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044

Read IRS Notice 2011-52.

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