Healthy Communities – October 26, 2012

Resources

It’s nearly Halloween – this week in scary food: mashed potato machines and bacon sundaes

Check out Complete Streets News from Smart Growth America

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is offering a free interactive course Creating Opportunities for Healthy Communities.The course will provide basic knowledge about how social networks, community structures and local and state policies affect our health and health behavior.  Its goal is to discuss the importance of planning and implementing public health strategies to create environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice and support healthy living.

Reports and Articles

Super-utilizers’ place huge burden on health-care system
The Washington Post, 10/22/12
Simply put, super-utilizers are people who overuse emergency departments and hospital inpatient services, making more visits to those facilities in a month than some people make in a lifetime. Susan Mende, senior program officer at RWJF, explains that these patients suffer from “multiple chronic complex diseases, including mental health issues” along with “really difficult social situations” such as inadequate – or nonexistent – housing.

What’s New with Community Benefit?
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10/18/12
To maintain their tax-exempt status, nonprofit hospitals must provide benefits to the communities they serve. Historically, hospitals’ community benefit activities have focused on providing charity care and other forms of uncompensated care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) establishes standard requirements for nonprofit hospitals concerning community benefit reporting, community health needs assessments, and strategies to improve the health of the communities they serve. These strategies for population health improvement often bring together key health partners in communities to work together. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) summarizes recent changes in federal law pertaining to community benefit in a new Health Policy Snapshot brief.

RWJF and the Kresge Foundation have also funded The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), to develop a series of issue briefs to help guide policy-makers, budget officers, hospitals, and other stakeholders around the issue of community benefit, and ensure their community benefit activities are responsive to the most pressing health needs of the people they serve. Two new briefs in this series focus on reporting requirements developed by the Internal Revenue Service, and the role of nonprofit hospitals in addressing environmental and social determinants of health.

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