CHA News Article

CHA Comments on New Report That Uses Faulty Assumptions to Evaluate Community Benefit Programs
Greenlining Institute report misrepresents current law

CHA announced yesterday that it is troubled by a Greenlining Institute report on community benefit programs, to be released this week, that is heavy on political rhetoric and light on substance. The report relies on inaccuracies and faulty assumptions to criticize a program that is, in fact, a robust, effective, transparent partnership between the state’s not-for-profit hospitals and the communities they serve, including public and private stakeholders. In its report, Greenlining suggests that new legislation is needed in order to better align California law with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, it was California’s existing community benefits law (SB 697, 1994) that served as a model for the ACA’s community benefit standards.

The report is a classic example of “a solution in search of a problem,” said CHA President/CEO C. Duane Dauner, as many of Greenlining’s recommendations already are standard practice and included in existing law. 

According to Dauner, California’s hospitals are focused on successfully implementing the landmark ACA and expanding access to quality health care for millions of men, women and children in 2014 and beyond. Local community priorities will change as the ACA is implemented, and hospitals’ plans will be adjusted to meet these new challenges.  

The Greenlining Report claims that “current reporting requirements do not foster transparency.” In fact, current state law requires that community needs assessments include “a process for consulting with community groups and local government officials.”  The law requires not-for-profit hospitals to conduct this assessment every three years and submit a copy of the plan annually to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). The OSHPD website contains more than 200 of these plans.

CHA’s press release about the report is attached.