What is Community Benefit?
Community benefits are programs and services designed to improve health in communities and increase access to health care. They are integral to the mission of Catholic and other not-for-profit health care organizations, and are the basis of tax exemption. For nearly 20 years, Catholic Health Association (CHA) has been a leader in the community benefit field, helping not-for-profit health care organizations fulfill their community benefit mission. - See more
Catholic and other not-for-profit health care organizations demonstrate their commitment to community service through organized and sustainable community benefit programs providing:
- Free and discounted care to those unable to afford health care
- Care to low-income beneficiaries of Medicaid and other indigent care programs
- Services designed to improve community health and increase access to health care
In the last fiscal year, Catholic-sponsored, not-for-profit member hospitals contributed more than $5.7 billion in services identified as community benefit using CHA’s guidelines.
Community benefit is also the basis of the tax-exemption of not-for-profit hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service, in its Revenue Ruling 69–545, describes the community benefit standard for charitable tax-exempt hospitals.
Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. They increase access to health care and improve community health. They are not provided for marketing purposes.
A community benefit must respond to an identified community need and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Improve access to health care services. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center works closely with other providers to participate in the Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership (CHAP) to connect those at risk with care. A patient navigator seeks to connect those patients in need of ongoing care with the appropriate medical provider.
- Enhance health of the community. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center provides information on health topics to the community through a variety of ways, including:
- Advance medical or health knowledge. As a teaching hospital St. Vincent Charity Medical Center advances medical and health knowledge. We also provide opportunities for learning to the broader community through our:
- Continuing Medical Education Series / Zella Hall Lecture
- Health Literacy Institute
- Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts.
Additionally, we care for underserved populations through our participation in government-assisted programs such as Medicaid and through our Charity Care Policy
Community benefit is about more than numbers. To learn more about our impact on the community through the stories of those we help, download our 2015 Community Benefit Report. 2015CommunityBenefitReport.pdf