Archive for the ‘Public Health 3.0’ Category

Innovative partnerships among hospitals, public  health departments, and community organizations are addressing root causes of local health problems, according to a new report from Advisory Board that outlines best practices from 18 communities that have begun forming effective coalitions under the BUILD Health Challenge.

By 2019, Medicare and Medicaid reforms will affect physician payments based on resource use and total costs of care, prompting hospitals and health systems to focus more strongly than ever on community health as a whole. According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, up to 80-90% of health status is attributable to factors other than clinical care. The vast majority of physicians cite socioeconomic conditions such as lower income or education, environmental hazards, and lack of access to healthy food, safe housing, and transportation as leading directly to poorer health outcomes, but only 20% of physicians are confident in their ability to address these problems, according to a study conducted on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hospitals and health systems have struggled to build partnerships that would improve health outcomes and generate significant savings. The new report – Building the Business Case for Community Partnership: Lessons from the BUILD Health Challenge – identifies four critical steps to promote population health management and collaboration across the continuum of care: strongly engage hospital or health system leadership; prioritize initial focus on a subset of initiatives that will be iterated; strengthen partnerships to build on the skillsets, relationships, data, or tools each partner brings; and design seamless screening and referral protocols.

The BUILD initiative, cofounded by Advisory Board to promote partnerships that are Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-Driven, started with grants to 18 communities in 2015. This analysis of the 18 funded communities reinforced the belief that transforming health outcomes requires a carefully coordinated effort to eliminate silos.

The report found that engaging hospital or health system leadership helps garner the executive buy-in and secure the resources needed for success. Since many health care organizations have multiple initiatives occurring at once, the report suggests that hospital and health system leaders recognize that the process is an iterative one and begin by focusing on a few prioritized services.

The research also found that successful initiatives leveraged the unique strengths of community organizations to extend the reach of the health care team. The recommended final step – design seamless screening and referral protocols – helps health care providers ensure timely follow-through, which also improves patient and provider satisfaction.

Data demonstrate the need for such coordinated efforts to address “upstream” health factors. For example, while people are 2.9 times as likely to have poor overall health if they are members of a food-insecure household, evidence shows that programmatic approaches can help.  Research from the Center for Effective Government showed that every $1 spent on Meals on Wheels produced $50 in Medicaid savings. Similarly, offering housing and supportive services to high-cost homeless individuals produces an annual per-person health care savings of $8,000, according to a study in Health Affairs.

BUILD Health Challenge Open for New Grant Applications
The BUILD Health Challenge will fund additional grants for at least 17 more communities in 2017. The Round 1 application period for funding closes on February 21. Interested hospitals and health systems can attend informational webinars on December 12 or 15 or January 31.


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I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about Public Health 3.0. If I’m hearing a lot about it, I figure others must be as well. What is it and why is it important? In this blog post I plan to address those questions and provide links to resources that can given you a greater depth of information on the subject.

My understanding of Public Health 3.0, in very simple terms, is that it is a reaction to the recognition that addressing the social determinants of health will require the involvement of an increased number of stakeholders, pooling of resources and multi-sector collaboration, leading to greater innovation in the ways we address these challenges to population health improvement.

The key components of Public Health 3.0 are enhanced public health leadership in the community, broad engagement with partners across multiple sectors, an accreditation process that includes Public Health 3.0 elements, more timely and locally relevant data, new metrics of community health and more flexible public health funding. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health is leading the Public Health 3.0 initiative, which will build off ongoing Healthy People 2020 efforts that encourage collaboration across sectors and communities.” (Source: The Nation’s Health, “Social determinants take center stage in call for Public Health 3.0”)

On the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website (Health.gov), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health on Public Health 3.0 has established a blog (Public Health 3.0 in Action) to provide regular updates showcasing examples of Public Health 3.0. The blog take Public Health 3.0 out of the theoretical realm, giving current real world examples of this approach in practice.

Why do we need Public Health 3.0? Why is it important?

Despite public health’s increasing focus on how environments impact health, our ZIP codes remain a more accurate determinant of health than our genetic codes. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to create conditions that allow all members of our communities to make healthy choices. And yet public health initiatives often exist in silos, resulting in missed opportunities to leverage the critical knowledge of communities to improve health at the local level.” (Source: HealthyPeople.gov)

The historic lack of collaboration between public health organizations, healthcare systems, community organization and private enterprise has always puzzled me. Public Health 3.0 seeks to change that prevailing paradigm by calling for cross-sector collaboration and innovative solutions. It’s an exciting initiative that is provoking conversations and action!

For more information on Pubic Health 3.0, here are some resources I recommend:

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