A new article in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease describes the experience of clinics in Gulf Coast states in creating Community-Centered Health Home (CCHH) Models, and validates the model’s potential to improve community health conditions. The article is co-authored by Prevention Institute (PI) Senior Advisor Dr. Daphne Miller and Dr. Eric T. Baumgartner of the Louisiana Public Health Institute.
PI originally developed the CCHH model to provide a framework for healthcare organizations to systematically address the community conditions that impact their patients. By implementing activities based on community needs rather than medical treatment needs alone, we can improve health, safety, and equity outcomes. Five years ago PI and Louisiana Public Health Institute established the first-ever CCHH demonstration projects – in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi – to advance health equity and community resiliency by moving beyond the patient-centered medical home model and serve as trusted, effective partners in community prevention.
The authors elaborate on the new demonstration site findings:
All demonstration clinics had an established social mission, and yet the broadening of their focus from individual patient needs to the community’s needs changed their approach to illness and injury prevention…the CCHH approach…(acknowledges) that socioeconomic and environmental factors greatly influence behavior and disease risk and that these broader influences must therefore be targeted in tandem with efforts directed toward the individual’s health. To expand from health education and screening to preventing chronic disease from occurring in the first place, CCHH sites are forging partnerships with public health and other organizations dedicated to improving community conditions that broadly influence health.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred a historic shift in the health system by investing in prevention and incentivizing the triple aim of improving quality of care, lowering healthcare costs, and improving population health. To realize this, we must shift what we prioritize and the ways we spend our money. CCHHs engage doctors, nurses, and the entire health system in making use of their day-to-day patient work to identify the underlying conditions that contribute to poor health in their neighborhoods and cities—and to change those conditions for the better.
Across the country, more community clinics and healthcare organizations are fostering community initiatives to promote equity and prevent disease and injury, while at the same time helping people who are sick and injured to heal. We are encouraged by the growing momentum for implementing activities based on health needs rather than healthcare needs alone, and for designing an approach for caring rather than simply treating.
Read the full article here.