For years, many Minnesota hospitals and health systems conducted formal or informal assessments of their communities’ health needs and completing a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a federal requirement for private, non-profit hospitals. Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Community Health Needs Assessment is additional criteria for hospitals to maintain their tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status. This requirement applies for tax years beginning after March 23, 2012.
A hospital must complete a CHNA at least every three years with input from the broader community, including public health experts. Hospitals are then asked to describe how they are addressing needs identified in the community health needs assessment as well as identify any needs not being addressed and explain why not. CHNAs must be made widely available, including through information on form 990s.