The New Hampshire Community Benefits reporting statute took effect on January 1, 2000. The bill requires nonprofit hospitals to perform a community needs assessment once every three years. It also requires that each nonprofit hospital develop a community benefits plan within 90 days after the start of its fiscal year. The law requires that the plan shall include a report on the community benefit activities undertaken by the hospital in the preceding year and information describing the results or outcomes of the activities. The report is also supposed to include a description of how the hospital solicited the views of the community in the community needs assessment process.
Note: The law requires hospitals to make their charity care policies available to the public in writing, and to post the policy in the lobby, waiting rooms or other areas of public access. This provision of the law took effect January 1, 2000. The law requires the Director of the Office of Charitable Trusts to develop forms for reporting.
The important thing in providing these reports is to include examples of community benefits identified in the statute. As reporting time approaches (those hospitals with fiscal years ending December 31 will be required to file reports on April 1), it would be appropriate to begin to inventory the activities included in the law as community benefit. These are:
- Charity care (do not include bad debt in this category)
- Financial or in-kind support of public health programs even if the programs extend beyond the trust's service area, including support of recommendations in any state health plan developed by the NH Department of Health and Human Services
- Allocation of funds, property, services, or other resources that contribute to community health care needs identified in a community benefits plan.
- Donation of funds, property, services, or other resources which promote or support a healthier community (please include support for the Foundation for Healthy Communities), enhanced access to health care or related services, health education and prevention activities, or services to a vulnerable population (those at risk of not receiving health care services due to financial, medical or other barriers), and
- Support of medical research and education and training of health care practitioners.
If you have any question regarding reporting requirements, call Terry Knowles, Registrar of the Office of Charitable Trusts, at 271-3591.
ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORT
Hospitals in New Hampshire have a significant influence on the state's economy, generating billions of dollars annually in economic activity and directly employing more than 37,500 people in communities throughout the state. The below report, Economic Impact of Hospital Systems in New Hampshire, quantifies the substantial economic impact of New Hampshire's 26 hospital systems.