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Oregon Hospitals Community Benefit

Community Benefit in Oregon from Our Health Oregon on Vimeo

Community benefit is all the health care-related services that Oregon's community hospitals provide, without compensation, to address critical health needs in the community. These services include health services to vulnerable or underserved people; financial or in-kind support for public health programs; health education, screening, and prevention services; medical research; medical education; and more. Oregon's community hospitals provide these benefits through financial assistance, charity care and subsidies for services otherwise not available in the community.

Oregon's community hospitals and health systems are driven by a mission to provide high-quality health care that extends beyond the hospital walls. They are dedicated to promoting and improving the health of local communities and their residents by providing a range of vital services to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve. Much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor's office - in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Hospitals share a common goal of improving the health of Oregonians and lowering the cost of care.
To read more about community benefit, including case studies of community benefit activities throughout the state, download our 2018 Community Benefit Report.

OAHHS' Community Benefit Policy Package

The success of the Affordable Care Act has had an enormous impact on hospitals' charity care expenditures across the state. Congress anticipated this change and cut hundreds of billions of dollars from planned Medicare expenditures over 10 years to help pay for the ACA. The idea was to offset hospitals' gains with these cuts.

In anticipation of the changed landscape, in February 2015, the OAHHS Board of Trustees approved a Community Benefit Policy Package, comprised of voluntary two policies. The policy package applies to all nonprofit hospitals. The board-adopted policy provisions recommended for implementation at all Oregon hospitals are as follows:
  • A floor of 200% of the federal poverty level for free care.
  • Hospitals commit to maintain or increase current community benefit levels in aggregate (relative to multi-year average).

Community Benefit Reporting Program

Oregon hospitals collaborated to sponsor and pass House Bill 3290, which became effective in 2009. That bill requires all hospitals, regardless of tax status, to report community benefits to the state.

The Oregon Health Authority releases an annual report on Oregon hospital community benefit data. To access the latest report, click here.