This is the fifth issue brief in a series resleased by Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program. It discusses hospital community building activities and their importance in addressing the root causes of poor health and disability. It explores hospitals’ community benefit activities that go beyond the provision of health care services to focus on “upstream” social, economic, and environmental factors—education, employment, income, housing, community design, family and social support, community safety, and the environment—that are major contributors to community health. IRS Form 990, Schedule H is the vehicle hospitals use to report these activities.The other issue briefs in the Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA series are The Emerging Federal Framework, Building on State Experience, Partnerships for Community Health Improvement, and Schedule H and Hospital Community Benefit—Opportunities and Challenges for the States.

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This issue brief, the fourth in a series published by Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program, is a collaboration between Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP, Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute, and Martha Somerville, JD, MPH, Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program Director. It discusses key federal community benefit reporting requirements developed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as Form 990, Schedule H and explores the opportunities and challenges these present to state officials and policymakers, both as a reporting framework and as an informational resource.The other issue briefs in the Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA series are The Emerging Federal Framework, Building on State Experience, Partnerships for Community Health Improvement, and Community Building and the Root Causes of Poor Health.

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Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Martha H. Somerville, JD, MPH, presented at the American Health Lawyers Association’s June 21, 2012, webinar titled Protecting Tax Exemption Under the ACA: Exploring New Requirements Related to Community Needs Assessments; Financial Assistance Policies; and Billing and Collection Policies and Procedures. Somerville’s presentation provided an overview of the origins and evolution of charitable tax exemption, the community benefit standard, and current tax exemption requirements for nonprofit hospitals. Other webinar presenters were Julie A. Trocchio, Senior Director of Community Benefit and Continuing Care at the Catholic Health Association, and Jessica Curtis, Esquire, Project Director of Community Catalyst’s Hospital Accountability Project. The session was moderated by Thomas Hyatt, Esquire, of SNR Denton.

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Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Martha H. Somerville, JD, MPH, presented at the American Health Lawyers Association’s June 21, 2012, webinar titled Protecting Tax Exemption Under the ACA: Exploring New Requirements Related to Community Needs Assessments; Financial Assistance Policies; and Billing and Collection Policies and Procedures. Somerville’s presentation, titled Community Benefit in Context: Evolution to ACA §9007, provided an overview of the origins and evolution of charitable tax exemption, the community benefit standard, and current tax exemption requirements for nonprofit hospitals. This brief provides background and support for the presentation.

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Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Martha H. Somerville, JD, MPH, presented as part of a plenary town hall panel in a session titled Community Health Assessments: Opportunities for Collaboration, at the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) Annual Conference of May 23, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In her presentation, Somerville outlined community benefit requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related reporting requirements (Internal Revenue Service Form 990, Schedule H). The discussion focused on the ACA’s community health needs assessment requirement, how  it can relate to public health department accreditation, and how Public Health Institutes can facilitate community partnerships of hospitals, health departments, and community-based organizations to conduct needs assessment and community health improvement planning, as well as develop initiatives to improve community health.

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This is the third issue brief in a series resleased by Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program. It discusses a variety of options for collaboration in assessment, planning, priority setting, and implementation of health improvement initiatives; provides examples of diverse models already in place; and examines their impact on the communities in which they occur.

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Hilltop and the Department of Health Management and Policy at Saint Louis University co-sponsored a Community Benefit preconference at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM). Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Donna Folkemer, MA, spoke about current policy challenges for states, discussing issues for states to help inform the interpretation and implementation of Section 9007 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is the subject of the program’s second issue brief.

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This is the second issue brief in a series released by Hilltoprquote s Hospital Community Benefit Program. It takes a closer look at three aspects of community benefits affected by ‘a79007 of the Affordable Care Act, “Additional Requirements for Nonprofit Hospitals”: community health needs assessment; hospital financial assistance and billing and collection policies; and community benefit reporting and oversight strategies. The brief considers each of these requirements against a backdrop of federal and state law and practice.

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This is a summary of the second issue brief in a series published by The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program. The brief takes a closer look at three aspects of community benefits affected by §9007 of the Affordable Care Act, “Additional Requirements for Nonprofit Hospitals”: community health needs assessment; hospital financial assistance and billing and collection policies; and community benefit reporting and oversight strategies. The brief considers each of these requirements against a backdrop of federal and state law and practice.

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This is a summary of the first issue brief in a series published by The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program. The brief provides historical background on federal hospital community benefit policy; outlines the new requirements described in the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and identifies new challenges and opportunities for state and federal decision makers as they begin to develop responses to the new federal requirements.

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