How Communities Can Improve Health Care

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How Communities Can Improve Health Care (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent study from the Commonwealth Fund that looked at 306 communities and how the health of their residents has changed over the past few years. The study found 14 regions that were “winners for improving on the majority of 33 indicators of population health and system performance,” including half with higher than average poverty rates.

In looking at three specific communities, the Wall Street Journal found commonalities that mirror much of how Delaware is approaching our own population health initiatives and the shift to more value-based care. These common traits include collaboration across community leaders and stakeholders, setting goals and measuring progress with common tracking tools, and accessing government funding and support. Specifically, the Healthier Community Coalition in Stockton CA “uses community health workers to offer services for the chronically ill,” and “the Pueblo Triple Aim Corporation uses a dashboard to track population health, and compare performance with other counties.” Similarly, Delaware is also engaging community workers across all regions of the state, and uses a Common Scorecard to ensure consistency across providers.

In addition, Delaware is using a State Innovation Model grant from CMS to focus on addressing the social determinants of health in Delaware communities, creating a model of healthcare that will allow the state to become of the five healthiest states in the nation. The Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative is a collaborative approach to community health, involving stakeholders from statewide governments, local health systems, community organizations, insurers, and area employers. The Healthy Neighborhoods committee implements sustainable interventions/programming to encourage healthier lifestyles and improve the quality of life for every Delawarean. To learn more, visit us at

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