With the country’s increasing focus on health care quality and cost comes an increasing recognition of the role that social determinants of health, such as housing, food security, education, and employment, play in the well-being of U.S. people and communities. Many community-based organizations and health care organizations are exploring and embarking on partnerships to achieve better health outcomes.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes brought together Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Center for Health Care Strategies, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to capture and share insights for partnerships between health care organizations and community-based organizations, particularly those that serve low-income and/or vulnerable populations.

Access two new resources produced by the partnership to guide these complex, innovative partnerships:

Partnership Assessment Tool for Health (PATH)Designed for community-based organizations and health care organizations already engaged in partnership, this tool helps to illuminate progress toward benchmarks that are characteristic of effective partnerships, identify areas for further development, and guide strategic conversation. Use this tool to work more effectively with partners and maximize impact.

Fact Sheet on Using Medicaid Levers to Support Partnerships. This fact sheet outlines strategies to help state Medicaid officials encourage partnerships between community-based organizations and health care organizations. To support partnership efforts, states can provide:

  • Financial support to build and sustain program capacity
  • Assistance in identifying metrics for evaluation
  • Incentives to providers to address the social determinants of health
  • Use of policy levers, including value-based contracts, managed care organization regulations, and state plan amendments

For more insight on progress toward better health outcomes, read the Partnership for Healthy Outcomes’ recent report capturing lessons from more than 200 collaborations across the U.S., including Alliance members, and a series of case studies illustrating the potential for diverse and effective models between community-based organizations and health care organizations: