Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives and Health Care Reform

Establishing a formal structure for the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

Field of Work: Community health care systems

Problem Synopsis: American health care is largely delivered in regional markets and regional coalitions are developing solutions to the quality, access and cost challenges by bringing together consumers, employers, unions and political leaders to collaborate with health care providers and insurers to address their regions’ specific needs. The scale of regional innovation needed to transform American health care demands, however, that regions coordinate their efforts to transfer successes rapidly.

Synopsis of the Work: The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) accelerated the formation of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives across the country. These collaborative provide a mechanism through which all of the key health care stakeholders in a community—physicians, hospitals, health plans, employers and citizens—can plan, facilitate and coordinate activities required for transformation of the community’s health care system.

Key Results: NRHI grew from seven collaborative members in 2007 to 29 members in 2010 and established a system of member dues that in 2011 provided the majority of support for its ongoing operations. It also attracted grants and contracts totaling nearly $430,000 between 2007 and 2009 beyond the support from RWJF.

NRHI established a series of mechanisms for sharing best practices and useful information among Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives and worked to increase awareness among policy-makers, health care stakeholders, and news media about the work of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives through its website, publications, and in-person presentations, briefings and testimony.

NRHI also sponsored two national summits focusing on payment reform, drawing attendees representing Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives, physician groups, hospital systems, health plans, businesses and consumer organizations.