Key Takeaways

  • Community-Integrated Health Networks allow small community-based organizations to provide uniform service delivery across a larger area, increasing opportunities to contract with health care entities.

  • Networks are made up of several community-based organizations strategically chosen for coverage across a specific geographic area or provision of targeted services. 

  • Development of networks takes time, requires thoughtful assessment of partners and needs, and relies on strategy for contracting with health care payors.

The NCOA Partnership Assessment Tool was developed through the Network Development Learning Collaborative. The tool provides a method for assessing key areas of your network, including:

  • Partnership Alignment
  • Organization Culture Integration
  • Network Construction (Infrastructure)
  • Defining Responsibilities

Each factor is rated on a scale of 1-5 points, with a higher score indicating a higher level of network readiness:

  • 1 point: My organization has not yet focused on this topic.
  • 3 points: My organization has communicated about this topic and we are in the planning process.
  • 5 points: My organization has successfully completed this Benchmark.

We recommend taking the assessment individually and comparing results with colleagues and partners. This can serve as a discussion tool to determine needs for improvement, align perspective, and plan action items.

Some organizations complete the assessment annually to review changes and update action items. It is not uncommon to see a "decline" in self-assessment of network readiness as your organization learns more and increases expertise on the topic of network development. This reflects a deeper understanding of the work needed to advance community-integrated health networks.