February 2021 Community Benefit Update

We would like to share the following community benefit news and resources with you. Please visit www.chausa.org/communitybenefit for access to all of CHA's updates and resources. CHA has also created a special section on its website focused on COVID-19 resources.

CHA Announces New Initiative on Racism and Health Disparities

Guidance on Reporting COVID Related Community Benefit Expenses

Upcoming CHA Events

GAO Report on Hospital Tax-Exemption

Webinar on COVID-19 Response Messaging

Registration Now Open for Accelerating Health Equity, March 16-18

CHA Resources Update

Community Benefit in the News

CHA Announces New Initiative on Racism and Health Disparities
On Feb. 4, CHA announced a new, ministry-wide initiative to confront racism by achieving health equity. Twenty-three of the nation's largest Catholic health care systems have pledged their commitment to confront systemic racism by 1) prioritizing equity in response to COVID-19; 2) examining care delivery and business processes with an equity lens; 3) forming stronger partnerships with communities of color to improve health outcomes; and 4) leveraging their united and powerful voice to advocate for policy changes that address the root causes of racism and social injustice. Visit the WeAreCalled website to learn more and access resources, including a recording of the Feb. 4 press conference and a video on why the ministry is called to address this issue.

  • Please share your work on partnerships. Partnerships will be key to achieving the goals of this initiative. If your organization is doing work in this area and you see possibilities for working together, please contact Julie Trocchio at jtrocchio@chausa.org.

Guidance on Reporting COVID Related Community Benefit Expenses
CHA has released new guidance on community benefit reporting related to COVID-19 vaccinations. This guidance has been incorporated into earlier recommendations on reporting expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recommendations for Reporting Community Benefit Related to Coronavirus

COVID-19 Pandemic and Community Benefit Reporting

COVID-19 Vaccination Q&A

Upcoming CHA Events

Webinar – IRS 990, Schedule H: An Overview and Update on Current Tax-Exemption Issues
March 15, 2021 – 2 p.m. ET

The Internal Revenue Service has released its 2020 Form 990, Schedule H and instructions, with no major changes from previous years. CHA and Vizient will sponsor a webinar about the Schedule H with Stephen Clarke, who managed the redesign of Form 990 and helped develop the Schedule H while at the Tax-Exempt and Government Entities of the IRS. Mr. Clarke will give an overview of Schedule H and review activities and other issues related to hospital tax exemption. This webinar is free for CHA and Vizient members. Visit the CHA website to learn more and register.

Bridging Identity & Inclusivity to Create Health Equity: A CHA Equity Webinar Series
Feb. 23 – 3 p.m. ET
This webinar series is looking at Catholic identity, other faith traditions, unconscious bias and discrimination in caregiver interactions and sharing practices happening now to create opportunities for participants to gain inspiration and information. Working together, we can improve Catholic health care, build right and just relationships with our communities and advocate for change to end health disparities and systemic racism. The special series is complimentary for CHA members. Nonmembers are welcome to register at $100 per event.

GAO Report on Hospital Tax-Exemption
In September 2020 the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the report, Opportunities Exist to Improve Oversight of Hospitals' Tax-Exempt Status. The GAO was asked by Congress to review the IRS oversight of tax-exempt hospitals' provision of community benefits and the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act requirements for tax-exempt hospitals. In the report, GAO describes a lack of clarity in IRS guidance for how hospitals report community benefit and some weakness in the IRS system of oversight. The report contains many recommendations including that Congress consider specifying in the Internal Revenue Code what services and activities it consider sufficient community benefit and various reporting and audit changes to be considered by the IRS Commissioner.

Webinar on COVID-19 Response Messaging
This free webinar on Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET will feature Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of CDC, and Charysse Nunez, insights lead for the Ad Council's COVID Campaign. Dr. Schuchat and Ms. Nunez will share insights and resources to help inform messaging for local COVID-19 response. The webinar's sponsor, the Public Health Communication Collaborative, hosts a website with a range of communications resources to support local COVID-19 response efforts:

  • Misinformation tracking and response tool provides weekly insights about misinformation that is circulating and a Vaccine Misinformation Management Field Guide for additional messaging recommendations
  • A new Q&A addressing the pending Johnson & Johnson vaccine EUA request and how to message about this new potential vaccine
  • A vaccine education PowerPoint presentation you can download and tailor for your community

Registration Now Open for Accelerating Health Equity, March 16 - 18
Join the American Hospital Association March 16 - 18 for Accelerating Health Equity, a virtual conference for leaders in community health, diversity and inclusion, hosted by AHA Community Health Improvement (ACHI) and the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE). This conference will offer access for leaders in community health, diversity and inclusion to share successful action steps and stories, build stronger connections with peers and increase collaborative efforts. CHA will be hosting a partner session at the conference which will discuss the role hospitals can play in helping communities build their capacity to address the social needs of all its residents.

Conference registration gives attendees on-demand access to all sessions for three months.
» Learn more and register

CHA Resources Update

Investing in Community Health: A Toolkit for Hospitals – This toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Center for Community Investment, is designed to help health care organizations look at their resources in a different light, expand their efforts to support their communities and maximize their impact on community health by harnessing the power of their investment capital. Supplementary resources include a webinar recording and PowerPoint.

New Community Benefit Reporting Resources – This new set of resources was developed to help finance/tax and community benefit staff work together to more accurately report their community benefit expenses. The set of resources includes 1) guidance on establishing a reporting infrastructure, 2) a review of community benefit accounting principles and methods, and 3) clarification of issues related to reporting health professions, research and subsidized services expense.

CHA Podcasts Several of CHA's podcasts have addressed important community health and social justice issues, including:

  • Episode 30 – COVID-19 Vaccines and Faith Communities – Fr. Tom Nairn, Ph.D., a trained ethicist and author of several books on bioethics, joins Dr. Reginald Eadie, president and CEO at Trinity Health of New England, in countering some of the myths around COVID-19 vaccines and clarifying some of the misinformation that has arisen.
  • Episode 24 - COVID-19: Health Care Disparities During the Pandemic Reducing health disparities and improving access to care has become more important than ever during this pandemic. The podcast discusses how Catholic health care is addressing these challenges.
  • Episode 20 - Housing and Transportation – In this episode leaders from Catholic housing and health organizations will discuss how Catholic health care is collaborating with other organizations to ensure the housing and transportation needs of their patients are met.
  • Episode 12 - Food and Water: Justice, Spirituality and Health – Every human needs food and water to live. But are these basic elements for life equitably available and is Catholic health care giving them adequate attention and reverence?
  • Episode 5 - Taking our Care Outside the Walls - This episode looks at how Catholic health care collaborates with others to extend care in the community.

Vaccine Webinar Series Recordings Available

Community Benefit Framework videos – A series of short, 6-7 minutes videos discussing each component of the CHA community benefit framework. These videos can be to educate new community benefit staff or staff who support community benefit efforts about the various aspects of community benefit programming.

Community Benefit in the News

From Catholic Health World

From Health Progress