Chapter 2, Episode 1: The Accountable Health Communities Model

In my last post, I concentrated on the implications of the recent efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  Near the end, I noted several other initiatives that hold tremendous promise to achieve the quadruple aim:  Improve the personal experience of healthcare, improve population health, lower total cost and improve the clinician experience of health care delivery.  Today I want to talk about one of those exciting initiatives.

In April, the Department of Health & Human Services announced 32 award recipients for a new program called the Accountable Health Communities Model.   In essence, the AHC model is designed to test whether closer referral, coordination and alignment of physical health, behavioral health and social supports will significantly improve the health outcomes and lower cost.  That seems like a no-brainer if its done right.

The program is quite prescriptive in some respects, such as the screening questions to determine who can benefit from these services, the designation of high risk and the content of a referral, but much less prescriptive with respect to the “Alignment Intervention” which expects health providers and social service providers to collaborate in new ways to improve both social service and health outcomes.

This is some fairly complex stuff that we’ve been working on for almost ten years.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve been involved in several conversations with AHC model award recipients using a PowerPoint presentation to organize the discussion.  So, rather than make you read a book-long post here, we’ve prepared an ACH Model  PowerPoint presentation with audio that you can view on my You Tube channel.  Coming in at 55 minutes, it’s not just a short marketing tickler.  Rather, it is intended to take you through the major considerations that are necessary to achieve the objectives of the Accountable Health Communities Model.

Whether you are an award recipient, or someone who wants to learn about this important initiative, I hope you will take a few minutes to check it out.



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