To date, efforts to control healthcare costs have taken a primarily top-down approach. But because of the diversity in delivery systems, it is unlikely that a single effective national approach can be implemented. The only effective and sustainable way to reduce and slow growth in healthcare costs is to restructure healthcare delivery and payment systems, and engage key stakeholders in the process. That can only be done at the community level, where care is delivered. Thus, the most effective strategy for reducing costs and improving the health of the population is developing and supporting community strategies that involve all stakeholders, using accurate and actionable data to change all aspects of care delivery.
No single constituency acting alone can achieve necessary change. Individual regions are proving that Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives (RHICs) – multi-stakeholder forums in which employers, providers, patients, unions, health plans, government leaders and other community members come together to understand and mutually address collective challenges –- offer the best chance of success. Identifying cost drivers specific to a region/community is the foundation on which cost-reduction efforts must be built. To help identify opportunities in a community and foster a sense of engagement to improve healthcare, it is important to have information on cost, quality, and health – for both an individual community, and for other communities.
See what our members are doing in the community – Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives
Read a nationally-recognized healthcare expert’s latest work on payment reform – Business Case for Payment Reform.[/column]