IRS issues proposed CHNA rules for nonprofit hospitals

To maintain tax-exempt status, nonprofit hospitals must conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) and adopt implementation strategies. New proposed regulations from the Internal Revenue Service discuss these requirements and the consequences for failure to comply.

Under the Affordable Care Act, charitable hospitals must conduct and widely publicize a CHNA at least once every three years, beginning March 23, 2012. Hospitals also must develop an implementation strategy to address any health needs identified by the CHNA. The implementation strategy will then be included on the Form 990 with a description of what steps the hospital took to address health needs in the filing year.

The proposed rule also details the consequences of noncompliance, including a $50,000 excise tax on hospitals that fail to conduct a CHNA. The IRS also may revoke a hospital’s tax-exempt status after considering all of the facts and circumstances.

Add your two cents: The IRS says it welcomes public input on the new requirements; comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by July 5, 2013.