Community Health Needs Assessment
For years, many Minnesota hospitals and health
systems conducted formal or informal assessments of their communities’
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.
MHA reached four key conclusions based on the priority needs that each
hospital identified and intends to address in the years ahead:
Identifying and prioritizing
health needs are very community-centric activities, and each hospital and
its community sets their priorities and areas of focus in their own way.
- Despite Minnesota’s
nation-leading health care delivery system, securing access to care
remains a significant and high priority for many communities.
- Promoting wellness and
reducing obesity and its corresponding chronic diseases are nearly
ubiquitous needs that hospitals and communities across the state hope to
- Mental health and substance
abuse services are commonly identified as some of the most pressing needs
of communities of all sizes, locations and demographics. The growing
strains on current mental and behavioral health systems are no longer
regarded as sustainable, and a majority of CHNAs documented mental health
as a high priority and noted forms of substance abuse areas as high