The Riggs Blog

Austen Riggs Center Completes Community Health Needs Assessment

In 2013, the Austen Riggs Center conducted a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in order to identify and evaluate the key mental health needs of the communities we serve. The assessment was completed in response to emerging federal regulatory requirements, and served to deepen our understanding of the needs present in our community. 

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires each tax-exempt hospital to “conduct a [CHNA] every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through such assessment.” CHNAs seek to identify priority health status and access issues for particular geographic areas and populations. Because the Austen Riggs Center is licensed as a psychiatric hospital, Riggs’ CHNA focuses specifically on needs that relate to mental health. 

Riggs serves local, regional, and national communities. These communities are comprised largely of patients with complex psychiatric disorders (e.g., multiple co-morbid conditions, severe and persistent psychiatric symptoms, and functional impairment) and the professionals (and organizations) who serve them. Service to these communities includes treatment, education and training, research, and outreach.

As part of the assessment, input from community representatives, as well as secondary data, was sought in order to develop a prioritized set of needs that the Center may be able to address within each of these communities. The findings from the assessment will provide a framework for Austen Riggs to prioritize our approach and to develop an implementation strategy focused on meeting those needs.

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