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On March 1, the NYAM Section on Health Care Delivery presented a panel discussion on the Community Benefit standard, the legal standard for determining whether a nonprofit hospital is exempt from federal income tax. The panel featured Bradford Gray, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute and Editor for The Milbank Quarterly; Raymond Baxter, PhD, Senior Vice President for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente; and Steven Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center. Ellen Rautenberg, President and CEO of Public Health Solutions, served as moderator.
“We’re excited about this evening and the topic of Community Benefit,” NYAM President Jo Ivey Boufford said in her opening remarks. “At NYAM, we’re really looking for opportunities to bring the power, influence, and importance of the clinical enterprise more closely in touch with the public health enterprise so that we can meet mutually agreed goals of improving the health of the community. We’re really looking at how to bring together the incentives in the health care system for greater health outcomes.”
Before introducing the panel, Ms. Rautenberg spoke of the development of New York State’s second Prevention Agenda, which she called “a step towards bringing public health and community benefit and hospitals together.”
Dr. Gray, who directed NYAM’s Division of Health and Science Policy from 1996-2004, provided an overview of the background and evolution of the current Community Benefit standards. His talk also addressed the possible implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Community Benefit.
Dr. Baxter, who has been leading the work of the Kaiser Permanente system in meeting these requirements, shared their experience in implementing a Community Benefit program that has had a proven impact on the health of children and communities over its seven years of existence. He emphasized three critical steps: “do good things,” “make an impact,” and “be accountable.”
Dr. Safyer, who leads one of the 32 Pioneer ACOs recently named by the CMS Innovation Center, discussed the Montefiore model and how the Community Benefit concept fits into the plans for their ACO. “To do what we do, you need vision, determination, and focus,” Dr. Safyer said in conclusion.
Posted on March 7, 2012
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