As part of the Affordable Care Act, all nonprofit hospitals nationwide are required by the IRS to conduct a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. The CHNA enables the community-wide establishment of health priorities, and facilitates collaborative action planning directed at improving community health and quality of life. Ordinarily, each hospital works through its CHNA process independently of one another, resulting in a complicated and often duplicative set of efforts and outputs involved each time the report is due.
Fortunately for Greater Cincinnati, The Health Collaborative joined forces with community agencies, public health departments, and major area hospital systems in 2015 to streamline efforts and produce a single, regional CHNA report for 2016. Using data collected through interviews, surveys, and focus groups, the top healthcare concerns were determined for communities throughout a 23-county region of southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana. The top health priorities for our region, as identified by the joint assessment, are: substance abuse, behavioral health, access to care, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use.
Now, the collaborative CHNA report has stared to enjoy some recognition for the unique teamwork it took to produce! In a WBUR.org CommonHealth article dated August 11, authors Michael Anne Kyle and Lauren Taylor implore the nonprofit hospitals of the Boston area to emulate what the Cincinnati region has achieved: to collaboratively produce a data-driven, unified CHNA to maximize resources and streamline efforts around common health priorities. It’s an idea whose time has come, and Cincinnati is leading the charge to achieve more, together.