Because one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to improve the health of communities, the 2010 health care reform law requires non-profit hospitals to undertake community health needs assessments of the areas they serve every three years and to implement strategies for the needs they identify in cooperation with other providers, public health agencies, and community groups.

iom_logoThe Institute of Medicine (IOM) has published a new issue brief on community health needs assessment. In “Community Health Needs Assessments – Aligning the Interests of Public Health and the Health Care Delivery System to Improve Population Health,” the IOM reviews the Affordable Care Act’s community needs assessment requirements and considers ways to improve those assessments to hold interested parties accountable for the actions they take to improve community health in response to assessment findings.

Find the IOM issue brief here.