Improving Health Equity Through Increased Transparency

Community Benefit Insight – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

By Jamie Pina

Community Benefit Insight (CBI) was developed by RTI International and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the aim of improving health equity by increasing the transparency of health spending data.

CBI is the first tool to provide data to the public on non-profit hospital community benefit spending. Traditionally, these activities have included free and reduced-cost care, health screenings, health education, and other forms of expenditures. This web tool allows hospitals, communities, and the public to examine hospital community benefit spending allocations and compare them to those provided by other organizations. The goal of this tool is to increase the role of hospitals in the efforts to achieve community health equity.

Efforts are underway to assist tax-exempt hospitals and communities undertaking collaborative planning activities through community health needs assessments (CHNAs) and the development of corresponding implementation strategies that respond to identified and prioritized needs. CBI is intended to complement these efforts and provide access to the community benefit financial reporting data that tax-exempt hospitals provide to the Internal Revenue Service each year.