With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, all tax-exempt hospitals are now required to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and Implementation Plan every three years. This document defines the community a hospital serves, what the significant health needs there are, and how the hospital is working to address those needs.
In 2012, federal regulations allowed hospitals to complete this process individually or collaboratively. The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative brought our partner hospitals together and was one of the first communities in the country to complete a collaborative CHNA. Essentially, the significant health needs listed for the community were the same, but each hospital had to insert their own information into the base, or skeleton, document before it was official.
Since 2012, regulations have changed to allow for a Joint CHNA, meaning all hospitals work together to develop a single official document. Baton Rouge is the first community in the United States to have partner hospitals work together to create a Joint CHNA and Community Implementation Plan. While this is a huge accomplishment in itself, it also gives great alignment to the work needed to address these significant health needs in the community as all our healthcare partners work on the same priorities from the same plan.