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Measuring Social Determinants of Health among Low-Income Populations: Early Insights from State Initiatives

This webinar, made by possible by The Commonwealth Fund, will explore emerging state-level approaches to measuring Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) among beneficiaries of publicly financed care. It will address: (1) the rationale for collecting SDOH data; (2) various approaches for using SDOH information; and (3) challenges and key considerations for states interested in advancing SDOH measurement efforts. The webinar will feature promising initiatives in two states, Massachusetts and Oregon, and highlight takeaways from a soon-to-be-published CHCS environmental scan that examines existing SDOH data collection efforts by Medicaid and other public agencies.


Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations: State Update

This fact sheet from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) walks through current progress for Medicaid ACOs. It provides a definition for ACO and describes how emerging state programs are seeking to drive accountability through three key activities: (1) implementing a value-based payment structure; (2) measuring quality improvement; and (3) collecting and analyzing data. It also provides a glimpse of some early state successes.

Regional Quality Improvement Resources

CHCS has collected resources from five states related to regional quality improvement. The tools are delineated into the following categories: Design and Planning; Measurement and Data; and Practice Site Improvement and Financing.

                                               Articles and Briefs

Strategic and Sustainability Planning for Population Health Collaborative: A Learning Guide

This learning guide, part of a series developed by the Community Health Peer Learning Program's subject matter expert communities, outlines the steps necessary to build a useful strategic plan with guidance on successfully building community capacity to ensure sustainability of population health initiatives. The University of Chicago Medicine outlines a series of crucial steps and considerations necessary to ensure stakeholder buy-in and develop a strategic plan that is sustainable over time to develop goal-oriented, impact-driven population health initiatives.

Social Impact Assessment for Community Health: A Learning Guide

This learning guide, part of a series developed by the Community Health Peer Learning Program's subject matter expert communities, provides a step-by-step framework to help organizations start planning community-level work and coordinate a process for conducting Social Impact Assessments (SIA) of community health initiatives. The Greater Detroit Area Health Council outlines six steps for conducting an SIA, including challenges to analysis, how appropriate data sources should be identified, how to leverage partner expertise, and more.

Topic Profile: Alignment Across Sectors – Multi-sector Care Delivery

AcademyHealth's Payment Reform for Population Health initiative and the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement hosted a two-day workshop, “Striving Toward a Culture of Health: How Do Non-Medical Needs Factor into Alternative Payment Models?”, which convened five multi-sector teams, comprised of health care sector and non-health care sector partners, and led by regional health improvement collaboratives. The workshop provided information from content experts and fostered shared learning across communities to inform next steps in their own specific community-based collaborative projects. The workshop focused on four key topic areas and the related barriers that potentially influence the conditions and collaborations necessary to support non-clinical community-wide population health services.

Update on Medicare-Medicaid Integration

The Commonwealth fund and the SCAN Foundation produces this factsheet. The Center for Health Care Strategies Medicare-Medicaid Integration Toolkit explores state options to integrate care.

Accounting for Social Risk Factors in Medicare Payment

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acting through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene an ad hoc committee to prepare a series of five brief reports that aim to inform ASPE analyses that account for social risk factors in Medicare payment programs mandated under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Treatment (IMPACT) Act. In the first report, the committee presented a conceptual framework and described the results of a literature search linking five social risk factors and health literacy to health-related measures of importance to Medicare quality measurement and payment programs. In the second report, the committee reviewed the performance of providers disproportionately serving socially at-risk populations, discussed drivers of variations in performance, and identified six community-informed and patient-centered systems practices that show promise to improve care for socially at-risk populations. The committee’s third report identified social risk factors that could be considered for inclusion in Medicare quality measurement and payment, criteria to identify these factors, and methods to account for them in ways that can promote health equity and improve care for all patients. The fourth report provides guidance on where to find and how to collect data on social risk factor indicators that could be used for Medicare quality measurement and payment programs. In this fifth and final report, the committee aims to put the entire series in context and offers additional thoughts about how to best consider the various methods for accounting for social risk factors, as well as next steps.

Surprise out-of-network doctor bills are much more common than we thought

In a recent Health Affairs article, the Commonwealth Foundation conducted their periodic survey of eleven countries to see how access issues might have improved or worsened. Even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more people in the United States had a cost-related barrier to accessing care in the United States than any other comparable country.

Previous Medicaid Expansion May Have Had Lasting Positive Effects On Oral Health Of Non-Hispanic Black Children

In this study published in the December 2016 edition of Health Affairs, authors examined the effects of a historic expansion in Medicaid eligibility on the adult oral health of those who gained eligibility as infants. The authors used data from several years of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys and a sample of adults born between 1979 and 1991. Findings conclude that expanded Medicaid coverage geared toward pregnant women and children during their first year of life was linked to better oral health in adulthood among non-Hispanic blacks.

Oregon/California Learning Exchange (Or/CaX)

Nearly 100 safety net leaders attended the Oregon/California Learning Exchange (Or/CaX) held in Oakland on March 29, 2016 to learn about pioneering care delivery transformation efforts taking place in each other’s communities. A morning panel session discussed the two states’ experiences with FQHC Alternative Payment Methodology (APM) demonstrations, and the afternoon was packed with “Bright Spot Breakout Sessions” and “Office Hours”, where participants learned about specific innovations and care delivery models being tested and implemented in peer organizations. The convening was organized in partnership with the Oregon Primary Care Association and Blue Shield of California Foundation.

The ACO Conundrum: Safety-Net Hospitals in the Era of Accountable Care

Safety net hospitals do not have a long history of participating in ACOs. This Bailit Health Purchasing brief, based on interviews and experiences within safety net hospitals, explores why and what can be done to meet ACO challenges.

Key Elements to Consider in ACO Agreements

This action brief from the Health Care Transformation Task Force outlines areas providers and administrators should consider when joining or establishing an Accountable Care Organization.

Key Payer and Provider Operational Steps to Successfully Implement Bundled Payments

This Bailit Health Purchasing brief provides an in-depth review of the operational steps health plans and providers are taking to be successful under bundled payment.

Four Innovative Strategies to Help Providers Succeed Under Payment Reform

This report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and prepared by Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC consolidates experiences and best practices from health care payment reform experts into four specific strategies. The strategies include target population identification, creative care management responses, understanding costs, and information support for providers.