Paving the Way Towards Sustainable Healthy Communities

Last month, the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) Center for Healthy Aging brought together state and local agencies, community-based organizations (CBOs) and others that are implementing chronic disease self-management education (CDSME), falls prevention programs, and other evidence-based health promotion/disease prevention programs for its annual meeting in Arlington, VA. The theme for this year’s event was Paving the Way Towards Sustainable Healthy Communities. The goal of the meeting was to provide attendees with strategies related to outreach to special populations, community-integrated health care, business acumen and sustainability. Session themes included developing health care partnerships, crafting value proposition statements measuring outcomes, and documenting return-on-investment (ROI).

One important plenary session, titled Trends in Integrated Health Care, featured speakers representing various health care industry perspectives including Dr. Christopher King (Director & Professor, Master of Science in Health Systems Administration Program, Georgetown University Medical Center), Eileen Ellis (Senior Advisor, Health Management Associates), Malvise Scott  (Senior Vice President, Partnership and Resource Development, National Association of Community Health Centers), and Rhys Jones (Vice President, Medicaid Advocacy, America’s Health Insurance Plans). Speakers explored the integration of clinical care management with social and behavioral determinants of health supports and services and identified opportunities for the advancement of Integrated Care practices. Key takeaways from this session included a focus on the impact of holistic integrated care and social determinants of health across settings of care; and how partnerships with community-based organizations are necessary to making shifts to integrated care a reality.

Kristie Kulinski, Aging Services Program Specialist from the Administration for Community Living (a funder of the Aging and Disability Business Institute [Business Institute]) led by the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), moderated another relevant plenary session titled Perspectives on Network Development and Health Care Contracting: Lessons from the Front Lines. The panel emphasized the importance of embedding CDSME and falls prevention programs into integrated, sustainable networks. The session also detailed current business acumen activities and resources at the national level, including NCOA’s Network Development and Medicare Reimbursement Learning Collaboratives, n4a’s Learning Collaboratives for Advanced Business Acumen Skills and Aging and Disability Business Institute, and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD; now ADvancing States) Business Acumen for Disability Organizations grant. Speakers from North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York described their lessons learned and early-stage experiences developing strategic partnerships with state/local entities and other organizations including challenges faced and recommendations for moving forward.

Davis Baird and Elizabeth Blair (of n4a’s Business Institute) shared research findings during the breakout session titled Community Based Organization and Health Care Partnerships: Findings from the Aging & Disability Business Institute National Survey. Their presentation described the Business Institute’s efforts to support the capacity of CBOs as they enter into successful contracts with health care entities and described new opportunities for contracting between CBOs and Medicare Advantage plans as a result of the Chronic Care Act.

Other business-related breakout sessions included:

Additional 2018 NCOA Center for Healthy Aging Annual Meeting session slides and recordings are available online.