CLEVELAND, Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Health Affairs' has released its December 2015 Policy Snapshot, which examines the many requirements hospitals must fulfill related to community health needs assessments. Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contained many significant provisions that continue to impact hospitals and the communities they serve. One key provision requires hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and a corresponding implementation strategy − describing how they intend to address significant health needs − at least once every three years for all 501(c)(3) hospitals.

For the first round of CHNA reporting in either 2012 or 2013, there was significant uncertainty among hospitals about what the final rules released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would require of hospitals. Fortunately, the IRS released a final rule in December 2014 providing additional clarification regarding what hospitals should be including in their CHNA reports and implementation strategies.

The newly released Policy Snapshot aims to decipher what is really required of hospitals reporting in 2016 and beyond. Part one of a two-part series, Community Health Planning Part 1: Community Health Needs Assessment Requirements, highlights key CHNA requirements. Stay tuned for The Center's January 2016 Policy Snapshot, which will contain part two of this series, focused on key implementation strategy requirements.

To browse related information and resources cited in this publication, visit The Center's Health Needs Assessments Pinterest Board.

A full list of The Center's publications can be found on their website along with a wide range of resources covering a variety of health policy issues.

With a rich history as the Northeast Ohio hospital association, dating back to 1916, The Center for Health Affairs serves as the collective voice of hospitals and the source for Northeast Ohio hospital and healthcare information. As the leading advocate for Northeast Ohio hospitals, The Center aims to enhance the effectiveness of the healthcare community and the health of the communities it serves by providing expertise, resources and solutions to address the challenges faced by the region's healthcare providers. The Center's efforts focus on areas that benefit member hospitals from a regional approach, including healthcare workforce; emergency preparedness; public policy and advocacy; finance and reimbursement; and community initiatives. And because of its business affiliation with CHAMPS Healthcare, The Center has the resources to provide a broad level of professional services to its members. The Center, located in downtown Cleveland, is proud to advocate on behalf of 34 acute-care hospitals and two long-term acute-care hospitals in six counties. The Center for Health Affairs is honored to be named as one of The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Top Workplaces in 2014 and 2015, as well as to ERC's NorthCoast99 List in 2003, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015. For more, visit

Deanna Moore