Purpose

Reform is rolling across America’s healthcare landscape, from alternative payment methodologies to community integrated care initiatives.  Healthcare transformation has implications beyond the confines of the healthcare system. Person centered care planning and holistic approaches to care coordination are becoming ingrained into the traditional healthcare delivery systems, synchronizing the social determinants of health (SDOH) with traditional clinical care.  This shift adds a new wrinkle to healthcare consumer management. Community-based organizations (CBOs), who are the SDOH experts, have a significant opportunity to engage with healthcare partners across the spectrum. CBOs must develop a deeper understanding of payors’ needs, develop partnerships to meet those needs, and create the value propositions to achieve successful relationships with them. The sustainability of CBOs as community resources is dependent upon their aptitude towards expanding their reach to new payors.  A key factor in developing productive relationships with healthcare organizations is the alignment of collaborative networks among CBOs.

A network or network hub utilizes a centralized, coordinated model for service provision by incorporating uniform logistical practices for recruitment, referral, enrollment, marketing, quality assurance, and evaluation.  This process is carried out under the direction of the hub’s central organization and is coordinated among a network of partners.  It provides a unified and consistent approach to program delivery across a geographic area, either regional or statewide. The central organization is the center of activity that connects a network of partners, including healthcare systems and local community organizations who offer evidence-based programs, all working together toward a common goal.

Among the many benefits in the establishment of network hubs is the capacity to:

  • Deliver a broader scope of SDOH services;
  • Reach more diverse consumers and populations;
  • Build stronger administrative infrastructures;
  • Capitalize on economies of scale;
  • Provide expanded regional/statewide coverage;
  • Offer one-stop contracting for multiple services with payors; and
  • Expand quality improvement initiatives and successes broadly.

To enhance the CBO networks’ opportunities to create and successfully manage network hubs, NCOA will offer a Network Development Learning Collaborative.  This Collaborative will provide interested participants with training on the fundamental elements of network development such as identification of CBO partners, establishment of participation agreements, and exposure to the primary drivers for healthcare plans to support building value propositions, among other topics.  Over a period of 12 months, this Learning Collaborative will provide participants with an opportunity to learn from their peers, while receiving technical assistance/training from NCOA subject matter experts and mentoring from other CBOs who have engaged in successful contracting with healthcare organizations.

Timeline

12 months: April 2017-March 2018

Aim

By March 2018, participating organizations will have achieved or made significant progress toward the following:

  • Vetted local/regional partners for engagement in a network hub;
  • Created a participating organization agreement;
  • Developed an intra-organization services proposal; and
  • Targeted a potential healthcare payor for partnership.

Support from NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging

The Center, in collaboration with the Administration for Community Living will support participants through the Learning Collaborative experience in the following ways:

  • Provide orientation and offer training
  • Host monthly conference calls/webinars to provide peer-to-peer learning and make subject matter experts(SME) available during each call to facilitate learning
  • Enlist mentors who have successfully created network hubs and contracted with healthcare organizations
  • Moderate an online community to facilitate sharing of best practices and resources, foster peer-to-peer support and provide technical assistance
  • Host an in-person LC meeting in conjunction with the NCOA’s Annual Resource Center Meeting, (May 23-25, 2017) who those planning to attend.

Participant Expectations:

Up to 10 organizations will be selected to participate in this LC and will be announced by mid-April, 2017.  Participants are expected to:

  • Identify key partners to participate in a Network Development LC team;
  • Become familiar with the recommended resources/information below, as well as other community-integrated health care resources on NCOA’s website;
  • Complete an assessment to identify the stage of readiness to create a network hub;
  • Collaborate with their LC team to develop measurable goals and objectives to achieve the LC aim;
  • Attend the orientation and online trainings;
  • Participate in all monthly calls;
  • Participate in the network development online community;
  • Work closely with their partners to plan and implement the project;
  • Identify potential partners for the network hub;
  • Draft a participating organization agreement template;
  • Target a local healthcare organization for partnership engagement; and
  • Report on progress; share lessons learned.

 

Resources/Information

n4a’s Aging and Disability Business Institute

NCOA’s Roadmap to Community Integrated Health Care and Network Hub Model

ACL’s Business Acumen for Community-Based Organizations

The SCAN Foundation’s Overview of Preparing Community-Based Organizations for Successful Health Care Partnerships

 

Please contact Marissa Whitehouse at marissa.whitehouse@ncoa.org with any questions regarding this charter.