Funders Forum FAQ
Funders Forum on Accountable Health
A Project of the GW Department of Health Policy and Management
What is an Accountable Community for Health?
Accountable Communities for Health (ACHs) are community-based partnerships formed across sectors such as health care, housing, social services, public health, employment training and economic development to focus on a shared vision and responsibility for the health of the community. These communities are pursuing an integrated approach to health that focuses not only on the clinical setting but also on how the broader community can support health care’s “Triple Aim” of better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower health care costs. There are Accountable Communities for Health in various stages of development in nearly every part of the country. Public and private health care payors’ focus on value-based purchasing is stimulating increased interest in addressing health-related unmet social needs and Accountable Communities for Health-like models. These models currently are supported through a variety of means including philanthropy and business interests as well as a $150 million federal initiative in 32 sites to test the impact of identifying and addressing health-related social needs on health care utilization and cost. States also are using other federal health care payment system reform models, like the State Innovation Model Initiative, to focus on addressing these social determents of health. ACHs are known by various names depending on the community, including “accountable care communities,” “coordinated care organizations,” or “accountable health communities,” among other variations in name.
How does an Accountable Community for Health differ from an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?
ACOs hold providers responsible for better management of clinical conditions in a patient population. ACHs work across sectors and share accountability for the health of a community.
What is the purpose of the Forum?
The Funders Forum on Accountable Health is a group of philanthropic funders committed to collaborative national (and state/local) efforts that advance multisector, health-related partnerships centered in and accountable to communities, with the aim of creating equity-focused, transformed systems that support health, well-being, and thriving communities.
The Forum undertakes this work through the following strategies rooted in the elevation of community voice and power shifting, and adoption of approaches that foster inclusion, equity, and impact:
- Advancing federal (and state/local) policy and practice in support of multi-sector, health-related partnerships
- Aligning funders by identifying the potential for shared language/definitions, frameworks, and other strategies
- Coordinating, linking, and networking with other national efforts that advance these partnerships
- Building and disseminating knowledge and practice of health-centered multi-sector partnerships among practitioners, policy makers, and philanthropy
Who is participating in the Forum?
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The Commonwealth Fund, Episcopal Health Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, St. David's Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Who should I contact with questions, comments, or suggestions?
The Funders Forum on Accountable Health email address: FundersForum@gwu.edu.