Leaders in public health and health care agree that there is great potential to leverage their strengths and resources to create healthier communities. Paul Kuehnert, senior program officer and director of the Public Health team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, discusses both the promise and some key challenges to integration across health and health care.
Public Health and Health Care: Working Together
With shrinking budgets, rising health care costs and the growing burden of chronic disease, working together across sectors is more crucial than ever. Leaders from both public health and health care are finding ways to integrate systems and leverage each other's resources to achieve better health.
Hospital Community Benefit: An Opportunity for Public Health
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide benefits to the communities they serve to keep a tax-exempt status. Historically, much of hospitals’ community benefit activities have been charity care and other forms of uncompensated care.
However, new community benefit requirements under the Affordable Care Act provide a powerful opportunity to leverage community benefit activities to improve public health. New requirements include community health needs assessments and improvement plans.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded The Hilltop Institute at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to publish a series of issue briefs on best practices, new laws and regulations, and study findings related to community benefit activities and reporting.
Recently, Hilltop looked at hospital community building activities that go beyond clinical care to address the root causes of poor health such as education, housing, and community safety.Read more
Community benefit allows hospitals and diverse partners to identify critical health needs and adopt strategies to improve community health, quality of life, and economic vitality. A new brief summarizes the latest updates in community benefit.Read the Health Policy Snapshot
Two new Hilltop briefs discuss community benefit reporting requirements and community building. Report authors spoke with NewPublicHealth in a Q&A about what the briefs add to the field.Read the Q&A
Research Informs Future of Health and Health Care
Research is building to inform the path for a healthier future.