The Funders Forum on Accountable Health at George Washington University (GW) has spearheaded the process of developing a common framework for assessing accountable communities for health. Jeffrey Levi, the forum’s principal investigator, is the lead author of blog about the process published in Health Affairs.
Levi and his coauthors, who work for public and private funders of accountable health initiatives that are part of the GW collaborative, say that the forum has identified more than 100 communities where interventions associated with accountable communities for health are being undertaken.
These collaborations support health care, public health, social services, housing, and other sectors to work together to improve health in their communities. They are known by a variety of names, including “Accountable Care Community,” “Coordinated Care Organization,” and “Accountable Health Community.”
The article overviews the diversity of initiatives for supporting and building accountable communities for health. These include several initiatives through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. Other approaches include responses to the BUILD (Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, Data-driven) Health Challenge that are underway in more than thirty-five communities across the country to address social and economic factors, such as healthy housing, that affect health outcomes.
“Given this diversity of approaches to addressing identified community priorities, there is a compelling need to understand how these accountable communities for health-type efforts are working and what elements are common across all of these initiatives,” the authors say.
Their blog, “Developing A Common Framework For Assessing Accountable Communities For Health,” describes how the Funders Forum on Accountable Communities for Health convened a broad range of public and private funders, evaluation experts, and people actually working on accountable community initiatives to develop a common assessment framework. Their goal is to delineate common elements, as well as a set of assessment questions designed to clarify how the accountable communities for health compare functionally and show which elements have the greatest impact on population health. (Page down for access to an enlarged version of the graphic shown at the top of this story, which provides an overview of the framework.)
“The funders participating in development of these assessment questions believe that using a common assessment framework across accountable communities for health models will help them and policy makers make critical decisions when evaluating and potentially expanding and scaling the accountable communities for health approach,” the authors say.