Monitoring the Community Benefits of CAHs: A Review of the Data (Policy Brief #13)

Publication Date: Mar 2010
Author(s): Race M, Gale J, Coburn AF
Research Center(s): Maine
Project: Measuring Community Impact and Benefit of Critical Access Hospitals
Topic(s): Community Benefit

This publication examines evidence of differences in the community benefits provided by CAHs compared to larger hospitals and discuss the issues for CAHs in complying with IRS community benefit reporting requirements.

This policy brief is designed to summarize key findings and identify important trends.   For state-level CAH community benefit data, browse State-Level Financial, Quality, & Community Data.

Key Findings

  • CAHs may benefit from technical assistance and other support in collecting and reporting community benefit data using the CAH/IRS framework and managing their charity and uncompensated care activities.
  • CAHs may be unlikely to use community benefit tools that duplicate existing management tools or are not integrated with existing management information systems.
  • CAHs are less likely to participate in medical research and education; two significant areas of community benefit activity in larger hospitals, due to their sizes and limited patient volumes.
  • Development of arbitrary hospital community benefit standards may disadvantage CAHs as they typically provide lower levels of community benefits when measured as a percentage of total revenues.In this brief, we review the background of this project, examine evidence of differences in the community benefits provided by CAHs compared to larger hospitals, and discuss the issues for CAHs in complying with IRS community benefit reporting requirements.

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