NACo Announces Availability of Technical Assistance for Community Health Needs Assessments in Rural Counties

 NACo is currently accepting applications from rural counties to receive technical assistance to assess their local health needs and improve and strengthen their health care delivery systems.

Background Information: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Community Health Needs Assessments
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that nonprofit hospitals must conduct a community health needs assessment every three years or face a $50,000 annual fee for noncompliance. This provision, which takes effect for taxable years after March 23, 2012, is designed to ensure that these hospitals are making a significant contribution in taking on uncompensated care to justify their tax exemptions. After community health needs are outlined through the assessment process, the hospital must develop and adopt an implementation strategy to address the identified needs.

County Role in Community Health Needs Assessments
The ACA requires that a community health needs assessment take into account input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community served by the hospital facility. County officials and local health departments can be actively engaged in the community health needs assessment process and the development of a local implementation strategy to ensure that the health care safety net burden is shared among local providers. 

To help facilitate this process, Dr. Gerald Doeksen and Val Schott from the National Center for Rural Health Works have developed a community health needs assessment template designed specifically for rural areas. NACo is inviting rural counties to apply to receive direct technical assistance from the National Center for Rural Health Works about how they can use this new tool to conduct community health needs assessments, assess their local health needs, and work with local partners to improve and strengthen their health care systems.

To read more about NACo’s technical assistance awards for this topic, please click here.

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