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Accountable Communities of Health

Accountable Communities of Health


How can we come together to build stronger healthier communities? How can we solve regional health issues at a local level? By building Accountable Communities of Health. For years community-based coalitions have worked to improve health at the local level in Washington State however these coalition’s wanted to be stronger and do more to reach their health improvement goals. So Washington State and local community organizations have partnered to form Accountable Communities of Health. Accountable Communities of Health bring together community members and organizations to work on shared regional health goals. ACH’s are important partners in supporting practice transformation, value-based purchasing and the use of performance measures. Washington has nine ACH’s operating across the state as part of the Healthier Washington Initiative. Each ACH aligns with the state’s Medicaid regional service areas and together all counties in the state are represented. Through local partnership and collaboration, ACH’s can better respond to the unique health concerns of their regions. A key responsibility of an ACH is to identify the assets, needs and any gaps in health within a community and find ways to work together to address the needs. Regional health improvement plans help to advance the Triple Aim goals: better health, better care and lower-costs. ACH’s provide feedback to each other as well as state agencies about their community’s health needs and priorities, helping to transform health statewide. Accountable Communities of Health coordinate systems to address aspects of health at both the community and individual level. ACH’s collaborate with providers to connect patients to social supports, helping support patient-centered high-quality care. ACH’s are building a culture of whole person health in their regions. Clinical care determines just twenty percent of a person’s health. More than eighty percent of health factors related to housing, nutrition, education, income, access to care and more. ACH’s make up the hundred percent. That is why ACH’s bring together community services, social services and public health efforts to address the needs of the whole person. When communities work together the result is a Healthier Washington.

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