Community Health

Connecticut hospitals play a major role in improving community health – providing outreach and support services for cancer, diabetes, and asthma, financial assistance to the uninsured, mobile vans and clinics delivering primary and preventive care, healthy lifestyle education programs, services for the homeless, clinics for migrant farm workers, crisis intervention services, and many others.  Hospitals in Connecticut spent $2.7 billion on these community benefit initiatives in 2020, including providing services to those who cannot pay and covering the unpaid cost of government programs. 

Building on many years of community health engagement, Connecticut hospitals developed community health needs assessments in accordance with healthcare reform.  CHA assisted hospitals in assessing their community health needs through the implementation of tools and analytics, developing hospital-specific community health profiles for member hospitals.  To increase health improvement across the continuum, CHA and Connecticut hospitals collaborated with the Department of Public Health, local health departments, federally qualified health centers, and other healthcare sector providers and associations. 


To support hospitals in their community health work, CHA worked with the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, local public health leaders, and Federally Qualified Health Center representatives to collaboratively create and release Guidelines for Conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The guidelines offer a common framework for community health assessment and implementation planning.  The long-term objective of this collaboration is to develop sustainable partnerships to address public health and community healthcare needs while leveraging existing resources, coordinating initiatives, avoiding duplicative efforts, and demonstrating value and accountability to community stakeholders.

Additionally, CHA offers its member-designed community data analysis product ChimeMaps – interactive GIS-mapping software used to evaluate hospital, health, and population data for the purposes of strategic planning and business development, community analysis, and population health assessment.

The William W. Backus Hospital Rx for Health Program

Community Benefit by the Numbers

In 2021, Connecticut’s hospitals benefitted their communities in many ways.

$993 million: Unpaid government-sponsored healthcare (Medicaid)*

$1.12 billion: Unpaid government-sponsored healthcare (Medicare)*

$243.8 million: Uncompensated care: Charity care/bad debt to provide services for those who cannot pay

$31.5  million: Community health improvement services and operations

$7.6 million: Research and other programs to advance healthcare for patients and the community

$23.9 million: Donations to help support community organizations

$8.2 million: Community building to create stronger, healthier communities

$6 million: Subsidized health services to provide care needed by the community

$233.7 million: Health professions education

Total community benefit provided by Connecticut Hospitals in 2021: $2.7 billion