Presentation: Hospitals Brief PA Lawmakers on Population Health Investments, Advocacy Update
This spring, HAP convened 14 regional roundtables where local hospitals and other health care providers, community organizations, state lawmakers, and their staff discussed hospital investments in population health, the opioid crisis, and other key issues.
These discussions were well received by elected officials and provided an opportunity for hospitals to highlight the many ways they are working to improve Pennsylvania’s health and health care.
The hospital message was clear: Hospitals of all shapes and sizes and from every part of the state have innovative programs that are making an impact on their communities. As a participant in these discussions, I came away with these main observations:
- Hospitals and their partners are actively engaged in programs to improve physical fitness, nutrition, and a wide range of social determinants of health, including food insecurity and homelessness
- Wellness programs and risk arrangements for employed staff provide hospitals with valuable experience in managing populations and shifting toward payments based on the value, not the volume, of services provided
- Population health initiatives require hospitals to make significant investments, but these initiatives are seen as necessary steps in creating a health care system that promotes better health, improves health care, and works to control spending through efficiencies in care coordination and potentially fewer complications of chronic conditions
Here’s a summary of some of the specific initiatives underway at hospitals and health systems across the state:
Fitness and Nutrition
Prescription PARx to encourage Pennsylvanians to be more active outdoors A wide range of food and nutrition programs including gleaning programs, fresh fruit pharmacies, farmers’ markets, and hospital-run farms and gardens COACH collaborative to screen at-risk patients for food insecurity and provide nutritional assistance as needed
Access to Care
Mobile medical units to care for the Plain community
On-location services at housing complexes to coordinate care for chronic conditions “7&7” initiative—patients with 7 physicians and 7 medications are assigned a care manager
Maternal and Child Wellness
Prenatal yoga New baby “Boot Camp,” including breastfeeding Safe sleep initiatives (newborn sleep sacks and baby boxes)
Specialists embedded in primary care offices to provide integrated care Mental health anxiety and stress programs, including outpatient massage therapy Collaborative programs for bullying and adolescent depression with local schools
Robert G. Shipp, III, MSHSA, RN, NEA-BC, is the vice president, population health strategies, for The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Rob has indepth experience in managing clinical aspects of accountable care organizations. In his role at HAP, he works with hospitals and government partners to advance community and population health.
Revision Date: 7/28/2017
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