Community benefit is all the health care-related services that Oregon's community hospitals provide, often with little or no compensation, to address critical health needs in the community. These services include health services to vulnerable or underserved people; financial or in-kind support for public halth programs; health education, screening, and prevention services; medical research; medical education; and more. Oregon's community hospitals provide these benefits through financial assistance, charity care and subsidies for services otherwise not available in the community.
Oregon's community hospitals and health systems are driven by a mission to provide high-quality health care that extends beyond the hospital walls. They are dedicated to promoting and improving the health of local communities and their residents by providing a range of vital services to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve. We know that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor's office - in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. We share a common goal of improving the health of Oregonians and lowering the cost of care.
In March 2015, OAHHS announced a new, voluntary community benefit policy package. The two-part policy package demonstrates hospitals' commitment to the communities they serve at a time when the Affordable Care Act is changing the health care landscape in Oregon.
Oregon hospitals collaborated to sponsor and pass House Bill 3290, which became effective in 2009. That bill requires all hospitals, regardless of tax status, to report community benefits to the state.
The first efforts at reporting this information resulted in confusion as to what was required. Inconsistent reporting standards were used and OHPR was unable to provide guidance and direction. Recognizing these problems, OAHHS chartered a task force in 2010 to resolve these issues. The task force worked with OHPR and implemented a revised reporting form which included detailed instructions and computation worksheets.
The Oregon Office of Health System Research & Data releases an annual report on Oregon hospital community benefit data. To access the latest report, click here.