MACDC Creates ‘Guide to Reading a Hospital’s Community Benefits Report’

Sep 15, 2021

The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) created a Guide To Reading A Hospital’s Community Benefits Report.

Age and dementia friendly community coalitions are among the community-based partners that can use this guide, which is valuable for mapping out common ground with a hospital’s efforts to improving social determinants of health, as a resource to better understand their local hospital’s commitments to community health priorities, and to foster more collaboration between hospitals and community-based organizations.

As the guide explains, nonprofit hospitals are obligated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to devote a portion of their budget towards what is termed, “Community Benefits.” Community Benefits spending includes charity care and programmatic work that benefits community health in areas served by the hospital. In addition to the IRS requirements, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) oversees Massachusetts hospital expenditures through reports that are submitted annually and made available to the public. In Fiscal Year 2019, Massachusetts hospitals collectively spent over $753 million on Community Benefits. These expenditures represented an average of 2.7% of hospitals’ net patient services revenue.

Aside from the potential community benefits overlap, it may also help age- and dementia friendly initiatives identify ways to partner with local hospitals that have committed to becoming age-friendly health systems.

Learn more from the MACDC guide and related blog post here.