Governor Signs Bill to Improve Community Health Planning

(July 1, 2016) Gov. John Kasich signed legislation, June 28, to coordinate local health assessments and improvement plans. The new law (ORC 3701.981) requires tax-exempt hospitals and local health districts to submit their existing community health improvement plans to the state so they can be posted online beginning July 2017.

Future assessments and plans must then be submitted in alignment every three years starting in 2020. The coordinated timeline and transparency requirements will make it easier for local communities to set priorities to improve health.

The provision is part of a broader effort in Ohio to improve overall population health outcomes. OOA has been involved in these initiatives as a member of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio’s Population Health Advisory Committee and the State Health Assessment/State Health Improvement Plan Advisory Committee.

In related news, the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation and the Ohio Department of Health also released a draft of the 2016 State Health Assessment, a comprehensive and actionable picture of health and wellbeing in Ohio. The purpose of the assessment is to inform identification of priorities for the upcoming state health improvement plan and provide a template for state agencies and local partners (uniform set of categories and metrics to use in related assessments).

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio was commissioned to facilitate the project. The final document is expected to be released later this summer, followed by the release of the 2016 State Health Improvement Plan later this year.

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