New Website Supports Accountable Communities for Health

As our health system turns toward addressing social determinants of health and other health-related social needs, the Funders Forum on Accountable Health seeks to bolster what its creators at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health believe is a promising concept for promoting population health.  The Forum has launched a new website with the goal of setting a common table for the growing number of public and philanthropic funders that support accountable health initiatives to share ideas, experiences, and expertise.

Accountable Communities for Health are cross-sector, community-based partnerships aimed at improving community health and wellbeing through a shared vision for action. Oftentimes, these partnerships include participation from health care, housing agencies, social services, public health, and other local organizations.

“Accountable health efforts have certainly been enabled in part by the Affordable Care Act’s reforms in the financing and delivery of care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients,” says the forum’s director, Jeff Levi, who is a professor in the Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. “In fact, The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation has launched its Accountable Health Communities model through a $157 million investment over five years. In the most advanced track of the model (track 3), funding supports screening, referral, community navigation services, and the multi-sector partnerships essential to addressing the social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.”

Both the communities and the funders that support accountable health initiatives are pursuing an integrated approach to health that focuses not only on the clinical setting but also on how the broader community can support improvements in health and wellness needs. Ultimately, most of the efforts are attempting to drive towards health care’s “Triple Aim” of better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower health care costs. There are Accountable Communities for Health in various stages of development in nearly every part of the country, and the new website lists 116 partnerships.

The Funders Forum on Accountable Health is a project of the Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. Research Professor Janet Heinrich serves as the co-principal investigator, Clese Erikson is a research scientist, and Marie Mongeon is a senior research assistant. Levi, Heinrich and Mongeon recently authored a literature review on accountable communities for health published by the National Academy of Medicine.

Access the website here