After almost one year of Advisory Task Force meetings and listening sessions, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced revised Community Benefits guidelines for nonprofit hospitals and HMOs.
Such nonprofit institutions are obligated to provide charitable and cooperative activities that reflect local health needs. The updates are meant to reflect and be considerate of updated statewide health priorities, new IRS requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act, and accelerating health care delivery system transformation.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, through public comments to the AGO, has highlighted Age- and Dementia Friendly Communities as an opportunity area for hospitals and health plans looking to impact the health and well-being of their service areas.
As stated in the revised guidelines:
“Significant changes in health care also underscore the continued value of the Community Benefits Program and the need to update the Guidelines. In the last decade, evidence has become even more clear that the utilization of medical services is not the primary determinant of community health. Rather, the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age play a key role in determining health outcomes and health disparities.“