Topic: Employee Health Promotion (2007)
Topic: Employer Screenings (November 2008)
Topic: Fast Track Clinic Expenses (August 2009)
Topic: Health Promotion for Long-Term Care Residents (April 2009)
Topic: Immunizations for Patients (August 2009)
Please Take Note: The information provided below does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.
Topic: Employee Health Promotion
Question: If the organization gives its employees flu shots, should the expense be counted as community benefit?
Recommendation: This program should not be counted. This is primarily an infection control or human resource program making it part of the organization's routine operations and thus, not a community benefit.
Topic: Employer Screenings
Question: We conduct health screenings held one time during the year at various employers (manufacturing facilities, Coal, etc.) in a rural area with a demonstrated need. Target population: rural blue collar workers. The health screenings target rural blue collar workers for CVD, diabetes, stroke risk, obesity, etc. Do employer-based screenings count as a community benefit?
Recommendation: We recommend looking at the purpose of the employer based screening. If it was primarily to generate good will with employers, or to get referrals to the hospitals, it would not be community benefit, but marketing. However, if you conduct the screenings in order to prevent and get early treatment for health problems you have reasons to believe exist in the workplaces, it should be reported because it is addressing a community need and meeting the community benefit objective of enhancing the health of the population.
Topic: Fast Track Clinic Expenses
Question: We have a "fast track clinic" located within a grocery store. Throughout each day there are drop in visits with questions. These visits do not require an office visit charge. We also provide free blood pressure checks at all of our clinics. Can we count both of these activities as community benefit?
Recommendation: To be reported as a community benefit, a program or activity should address a community need and address a community benefit objective, such as improving access to care. The activities you describe certainly seem to meet this criteria. We recommend reporting the related expenses under A2: Community–Based Clinical Services.
Topic: Health Promotion for Long-Term Care Residents
Question: A nursing home vaccinates all residents against pneumonia. Does it count?
Recommendation: We recommend it not be reported as community benefit because pneumonia vaccines are becoming a standard practice for long-term care organizations and therefore are a part of basic care.
Topic: Immunizations for Patients
Question: Can we count as a community benefit expense the staff time to provide free vaccines for the H1N1 flu virus (swine flu) and the administrative costs involved with storing the vaccine supply. Normally offering something solely to our patients would not be community benefit, but since the swine flu is a national health issue … would this service now qualify as a community benefit? Or would these costs only qualify as a community benefit expense if we were offering the vaccines to the broader community?
Recommendation: If the immunizations are just for people internal to the organization (such as staff or patients), we recommend not reporting these expenses as community benefit. However, if you are providing immunizations for the broader community, and you are paying your staff to provide the service, then the costs could be reported.