Intermountain Healthcare launched a new partnership with national policy and research experts from PolicyLab, a research center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), to evaluate and innovate its intervention to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare utilization costs related to social determinants of health.
Known as the Alliance for the Determinants of Health demonstration, this three-year intervention is designed to address non-medical factors that affect health such as housing instability, utility needs, food insecurity and transportation. The Alliance is a collaboration of partners that include healthcare, health departments, and community advocacy groups, among others. The project will take place in Utah’s Washington and Weber counties.
Intermountain’s overall goal with the Alliance is to improve well-being, reduce healthcare costs, and be a model for change by addressing social determinants of health. The work of PolicyLab as the national evaluator, in collaboration with the Pereleman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Camden Coalition, will give the Alliance the independent validation needed to help Intermountain design a nationwide model for how health systems can provide social need resources that lead to improved health outcomes.
PolicyLab was selected from among several national applicants who responded to a request for proposal (RFP) distributed by Intermountain Healthcare in 2018. The RFP submissions and the evaluation plan were managed by leaders from the Healthcare Delivery Institute.
“We hope that the work that we're doing can be meaningful to the healthcare industry overall and that it can inform the national dialogue around addressing the social determinants of health. Part of that vision from the very beginning was that we are going to need the rigor of having external evaluation to understanding of the real power of the work,” said Mikelle Moore, Intermountain’s senior vice-president and chief community health officer.
“I’m delighted that the collaboration of PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania and Camden Coalition has been formed to evaluate the Alliance and its impact on the communities we serve.”
PolicyLab’s evaluation will assess patients’ experiences with the Alliance and how it has impacted their medical, social and behavioral needs, as well as how the intervention affects healthcare costs and patients’ use of health services. In collaboration with Intermountain, PolicyLab will also conduct a policy analysis to understand best practices for developing, garnering funding for and scaling up an intervention such as the Alliance. Combined, this information should produce a useful roadmap for other health systems considering comprehensive interventions to reduce the health burden of social determinants of health.
“Despite strong evidence suggesting that social needs critically impact a patient’s ability to manage their health conditions, very few large, collaborative interventions exist that utilize the health care system to connect patients and families to community support services,” said Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab and Population Health Innovation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead researcher on the evaluation. “Intermountain’s Alliance for the Determinants of Health seeks to bridge the gap between the health system and community services to address social needs, improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. We look forward to working with them on understanding how this intervention can have the greatest impact on the people they serve.”
PolicyLab’s evaluation of the Alliance will run through 2022. You can read more about the partnership and project on PolicyLab’s website: https://policylab.chop.edu/project/evaluating-population-health-approach-addressing-social-determinants-community.
About PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is dedicated to achieving optimal child health and well-being by informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research. Founded in 2008, PolicyLab is a Center of Emphasis within the CHOP Research Institute, one of the largest pediatric research institutes in the country. With more than 30 highly-regarded faculty and 60 passionate staff who bring expertise from myriad of fields covering health, research and health policy, our work focuses on improving public systems, improving health care delivery and improving child health outcomes. For more information, visit http://www.policylab.chop.edu.
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