PHR Article of the Week: Law and the Public’s Health: Tax-Exempt Hospitals and Community Health Under the Affordable Health Care Act: Identifying and Addressing Unmet Legal Needs as Social Determinants of Health.
Under the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals seeking tax exemption must regularly survey and respond to community health needs. This new obligation expands hospitals’ roles beyond providing clinical care and calls for them to engage with their communities. Recently promulgated Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations and a new estimate of national hospital community benefit spending both point to the value of hospitals working with community partners to address root causes of poor health. This installment of Law and the Public’s Health reviews key aspects of the IRS regulations, explains how unmet legal needs function as health determinants, and suggests how hospitals’ participation in medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) can address those needs.
*Crossley M. Tyler E. Herbst J. Tax-Exempt Hospitals and Community Health Under the Affordable Health Care Act: Identifying and Addressing Unmet Legal Needs as Social Determinants of Health. Public Health Rep 2016 Jan-Feb [Epub ahead of print 12/7/2015].
The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.