The Proof's in the Partnerships: Are Affordable Care Act and Local Health Department Accreditation Practices Influencing Collaborative Partnerships in Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning?

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice




The strengthened requirement for nonprofit hospitals to complete a community health needs assessment and implementation plan in the Affordable Care Act, concurrent with a new voluntary accreditation process for local health departments that requires collaborative community health assessments and community health improvement plans, have led to a resurgence of interest in assessment and improvement planning. This study provides baseline data that will help determine whether the Affordable Care Act and public health accreditation will result in more collaborative community assessment and community health improvement activity by describing trends in collaborative community health assessment and community health improvement plan activities. Data sources include the National Profile of Local Health Departments studies and a database of community health assessment, community health needs assessment, community health improvement plan, and other implementation planning reports from across the country. The study finds that collaborative community assessment activity is positively associated with population size, governance type, and local health department and coalition-led efforts.