Social and Community Impact with Data
The Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) collects and manages data from approximately 9,500 California licensed health facilities, including 504 hospitals, and produces a variety of tools to make the data useful and meaningful. HCAI’s Social and Community Impact page highlights core data programs that provide transparency into the direct social and community impacts of California’s hospitals. HCAI recognizes the impact of the social determinants of health on outcomes and defines “Social and Community Impact” as programs providing transparency into efforts that address social injustices in the community considering the five priority areas of social drivers of health.
HCAI produces various visualizations based on patient discharge data which can be stratified based on race, ethnicity, payer, sex, and more. Included below are examples of visualizations that demonstrate meaningful data of California’s diverse communities through an equity lens. See more of HCAI’s visualizations on our featured visualizations page.
Hospital Equity Reporting
Program overview: Collection of hospital equity reports and the hospitals’ plan to prioritize and address disparities for vulnerable populations. New program being developed for hospital quality and equity reporting. First set of reports will be due in 2025.
Impact: Equity reporting will require hospitals to highlight their plan to prioritize and address disparities for vulnerable populations identified in data, and as specified by the Advisory Committee. The Committee is considering hospital equity measures that directly correlate with the Healthy Places Index in an effort to incorporate social drivers of health in the disparity analysis prepared by hospitals. By identifying inequities and creating a plan to address those, hospitals will develop approaches to reduce inequities within their patient populations. HCAI aims to further these efforts through publishing hospital equity reports and ensuring accountability of hospitals in accurately completing and submitting these reports on an annual basis.
Hospital Supplier Diversity
Program overview: Collection of hospital supplier diversity reports explaining the hospital’s supplier diversity statement and expressing its goals regarding procurement efforts with hospitals. Reports are collected annually on July 1.
Impact: Hospitals are uniquely positioned to build relationships within the communities they serve through the development, inclusion, and utilization of certified minority, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and disabled veteran business enterprises whenever possible. HCAI aims to disseminate transparent data that highlights the state’s hospital procurement with diverse suppliers as it directly impacts California’s diverse business owners and communities served.
Hospital Community Benefits
Program overview: Collection of hospital reported community benefits and plans for addressing priority health needs in collaboration with the community.
Impact: Private not-for-profit hospitals meet certain needs of their communities through the provision of essential health care and other services. Nonprofit hospitals assume a social obligation to provide community benefits in the public interest. HCAI aims to collect and disseminate data that indicates private not-for-profit hospitals’ ability to meet the needs of their communities through a lens of data transparency and accountability.
Hospital Fair Pricing
Program overview: Availability of charity care, payment discounts, and government-sponsored health insurance as well as standardized billing and collections procedures. Fair Pricing Policies are collected bi-annually on January 1. Effective January 2024, HCAI will take over enforcement of the Hospital Fair Pricing Act and begin receipt and investigation of improper billing complaints by consumers.
Impact: Provides relevant information to patients in communities who may need assistance. Establishing transparent billing and debt collection procedures prevents unfair billing practices and empowers patients to make informed health care decisions. HCAI aims to provide transparency through the publication of these policies and accountability through the imposition of administrative penalties for violation of the Hospital Fair Pricing Act. HCAI will also develop and implement a consumer-facing program to receive complaints of improper billing and establish a procedure for investigating patient complaints.
HCAI programs often have advisory committees and public meetings to discuss program goals, data reporting, and regulations. These meetings are open to the general public where members of the community can provide feedback. Get involved and have your voice heard! To learn more about public meetings, visit HCAI’s public meetings page below and subscribe here to get notices of new meetings.