As they look to reduce healthcare costs and improve care, social determinant partnerships between healthcare organizations and community-based organizations (CBOs) are addressing immediate-term clinical needs, such as reducing hospital admissions or length of stay, according to a report from the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes.
The report, Working Together Toward Better Health Outcomes, found that 65% of partnerships surveyed reported realizing cost savings.
More than half of respondents in the survey of more than 200 healthcare-related programs said their partnerships include care coordination support to “better organize services across multiple providers.” However, fewer partnerships “reported providing services that address underlying social determinants to improve health in the long-term.”
More healthcare organizations are partnering in hopes of reducing healthcare costs, improving quality of care and achieving better outcomes. The move from volume to value is prevalent both with private payers and the CMS. The evidence of improved care and reduced costs from value-based care payment models is mixed, but more experience leads to better results.
The Partnership for Healthy Outcomes report sought to find lessons learned from those who have tried so far. The report found that most partnerships have a formal agreement and partner integration including communicating, coordinating, collaborating and integrating. Having shared goals helps improve health outcomes and contain costs.
The report said nearly all organizations said they have expanded skills and capacities within the partnership, especially in network-building, improving programs and generating new funding.
Looking ahead, organizations that were surveyed said partners and funders will need to prioritize and invest time in relationship-building, which the report called “the key ingredient to effectiveness.” They said stakeholder buy-in is important, as well as identifying and funding the full cost of partnership “to effectively support development and evolution” and staying adaptable and nimble.