National Hospital Care Survey

Community Benefit for Non-profit Participating Hospitals

Non-profit hospitals qualify for tax exemption under federal law if they meet certain federal requirements. One of these requirements is demonstrated provision of community benefits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). State laws generally follow federal law.

Tax exempt hospitals also must conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). For their CHNA activities, the National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS) can help gauge the health of the communities they are serving.

We urge you to include NHCS in your planning activities. Participating annually in the NHCS will strengthen your CHNA because the survey can serve as a powerful tool to understand the needs of your patients. Participating hospitals are provided hospital reports that provide the most up-to-date information on patients visiting their facility. Expenditures that support the development and implementation of CHNAs qualify as community benefit spending.

Interested hospitals can contact their Community Benefit’s Office to learn more about how expenses in connection with the NHCS might be counted as community benefit spending.

For more information, please visit IRS Final Rule on CHNA for Charitable Hospitals Cdc-pdf[PDF – 599 KB]External.

For questions, please e-mail Geoffrey Jackson, Team Leader, Hospital Care Team, NCHS.

Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019