As the service boundaries between health care and social care becomes increasingly fluid, partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs) has emerged as a key strategy for health care and an important strategic direction for Alliance for Strong Families and Communities members. These partnerships take vastly different forms, reflecting health care priorities, community needs, and local financial resources including state Medicaid eligibility and services. As a result, there remains significant challenges for the replication and regional and national scaling of partnership models. 

To develop recommendations for the field, the Alliance launched a comprehensive request for information (RFI) among its members in 2019, which assessed the state of member participation and needs related to health care partnerships. This report presents the findings of the RFI. It identifies four categories of health care partnership and, for each category, addresses four overarching themes to describe and analyze the CBO experience. The combination of overarching themes and health care partnership categories were used to develop respondent health care partnership profiles. The Alliance concludes the report by offering recommendations on strategies that would build upon current work and accelerate progress in health care engagement across partnership categories. 

Overarching Themes 

  • Strategic Prioritization of Health Care Partnerships. Addresses the organization’s use of strategic planning tools and tactics to prioritize the development of health care partnerships 
  • Benefits of Health Care Partnerships. Refers to organizational competencies that were enhanced as a result of a health care partnerships. 
  • Contract Acquisition. Examines aspects of contract acquisition including the intent to acquire a contract, the type of services, the contractor types, and the quantified cost savings. 
  • Challenges of Health Care Partnerships. Refers to the factors that were experienced as inhibiting the acquisition and growth of contracted partnerships. 

Health Care Partnership Categories

  • Planners. Organization in the exploratory stage.
  • Collaborators. Member of a collective group that includes health care partner(s).
  • Network Providers. One of multiple providers of uniform contracted services.
  • Exclusive Providers. Sole provider of contracted services