Serving Our Community
Middlesex Hospital has a longstanding commitment to providing programs and services that meet identified need, most specifically for underserved and vulnerable populations. Our community benefit program exemplifies our core purpose of improving the health of the communities we serve by measuring community health, creating programs that respond to need, and collaborating with partners to advance population health. We understand the importance of building evidence-based programs with measurable, benchmarked results and positive outcomes.
What is Community Benefit?
Community benefit programs or activities provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. These programs:
- Often operate at a financial loss to the hospital
- Respond to needs of special groups, such as persons living in poverty
- Supply services that would likely be discontinued or would need to be provided by another organization if the decision was made purely on a financial basis
- Respond to public health needs
- Involve education or research that improves overall community health
Community Benefit Mission
Middlesex Hospital is proud to be a part of the community we serve. Our community benefit policy defines and guides activities to ensure they are consistent with the mission and vision of Middlesex Hospital and Health System, as well as with state and/or national guidelines applicable to not-for-profit hospitals. In addition to supporting all community benefit broad focus areas, our community benefit activities target health improvement and wellness through three domains:
- Access to Care: access programs seek to reduce demographically driven disparities in health care
- Community Health Initiatives: include health education and information, disease prevention and management, among other health and wellness programs
- Good Neighbor Activities: represent in-kind support such as staff participation in community collaborations and partnerships designed to improve community health
Why Community Benefit Matters
Not-for-profit hospitals in the U.S. have long been anchor providers of an extensive range of free and/or subsidized services provided to the communities they serve and are pleased to offer these important programs. In addition to this tradition, not-for-profit hospitals are required by the IRS, the state and other regulatory bodies to demonstrate that they are true to their charitable mission and tax-exempt purpose through various reporting stipulations. Standards to account for community benefit programming have been implemented to ensure consistency in the reporting of services and accounting for numbers served.
Community Benefit Categories - What Counts?
The following seven broad categories (as outlined in A Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefit, published by the Catholic Health Association of the United States) are utilized for the accounting and maintenance of our community benefit inventory:
- Community Health Improvement Services: Activities that are designed to improve community health. They include community health education, outreach and prevention services.
- Health Professions Education: Educational programs provided by the Hospital that result in degrees or training necessary to practice as a health professional.
- Subsidized Health Services: Clinical services that are provided to meet a community need despite a financial loss.
- Research: Studies or investigations designed to generate knowledge that will be made available to the public.
- Cash and In-Kind Contributions: Contributions (cash) to support community activities provided by similarly mission-driven not-for-profit organizations. Contributions (in-kind) that include the cost of staff time and other non-monetary resources donated for community benefit.
- Community Benefit Operations: Costs associated with dedicated staff, strategy, administration and operations of a community benefit program as well as costs associated with conducting a community health needs assessment.
- Community Building Activities: Activities that seek to address the root causes of community health issues.
Community Benefit Programs
Middlesex Hospital’s commitment to ensuring the availability of extensive community benefit programs is the cornerstone of our organization. Our leadership recognizes the importance of the Hospital’s influence on the wellness of the communities we serve and continues to support and promote community-wide health improvement services.
The Health of our Community
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) was enacted on March 23, 2010 as a means of enhancing the quality of health care delivery and outcomes in the United States. Internal Revenue Code 501(r), as set forth by the ACA, requires not-for-profit hospitals to conduct a community health needs assessment every three taxable years with input from persons representing the broad interests of the community, prioritize needs, and develop a plan that includes measurable goals and objectives.
Community Benefit Contact
Please contact Catherine Rees, Director, Community Benefit at (860) 358-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Community Benefit and Financial Assistance
Another important aspect of Middlesex Hospital’s community benefit program is ensuring that patients are aware of the Hospital’s financial assistance program. We understand that some patients may experience difficulty in paying for services – we hope to help with our financial assistance program.
Please visit the Financial Assistance Services section of our web-site to learn more about our program, download information and applications, and get contact information for our Financial Counselors.