Community Benefit

Hoag’s dedication to the community began at its inception, and as the hospital continued to expand its outreach efforts, it became clear that a structured program was necessary. Hoag’s formal commitment was initiated in 1995 when the hospital established the department of Community Health- charged with improving the health of the vulnerable population in Orange County.

The Department of Community Health is responsible for the coordination of Hoag’s Community Benefit Program, and provides services to assist the low-income and underserved in the community.

The department of Community Health provides direct services to the community through Hoag’s Mental Health Center, the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living, Community Nurse Navigators, Community Benefit grants, community outreach and Project Wipeout. In addition to these services, many other Hoag departments provide community health services including education and support groups which are free to the community.

What are Community Benefits?

Community Benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. They increase access to health care and improve community health. Community Benefit activities and programs are not provided for marketing purposes. Not-for-profit health care organizations demonstrate their commitment to the community by providing Community Benefit programs and services through:

  • Free and discounted care to those unable to afford health care
  • Care for the low-income and vulnerable populations
  • Services designed to improve community health and increase access to health care

What qualifies as Community Benefits?

A Community Benefit must respond to an identified community need and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Improve access to health care services
  • Enhance health of the community
  • Advance medical or health knowledge
  • Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts

Why do we provide Community Benefits?

Hoag’s mission as a non-profit, faith-based hospital is to provide the highest quality health care services to the communities we serve. Hoag’s Community Benefit Programs have focused on meeting the unique needs of Orange County residents with particular emphasis upon the disadvantaged and underserved. Hoag’s mission is to be a proactive participant in providing and partnering with other like-minded organizations to meet the ever-increasing needs of the vulnerable Orange County community.

Community Benefit is also the basis of the tax-exemption of not-for-profit hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service, through its 1969 Revenue Ruling 69-545, describes the Community Benefit Standard for charitable tax-exempt hospitals as helping the community in a way that relieved a governmental burden and promoted general welfare. In addition, the 1994 California Community Benefit Legislation (SB 697) required private non-profit hospitals to assume a social obligation to provide community benefits in the public interest in exchange for their tax-exempt status.