All Health Care Is Local: What Does It Take to Improve?

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<p>Just a handful of U.S. communities made progress on a majority of health care indicators included in the Commonwealth Fund’s latest <em>Scorecard on Local Health System Performance</em>. And half were regions where poverty rates are above the national average. </p><p>So what are they doing differently than places that didn’t improve as much, if at all?</p>
<p>A new Commonwealth Fund feature article explores why the capacity to improve is not limited to regions with ample economic resources. We talked to leaders of public health departments, health plans, hospitals, and community organizations in four geographically diverse communities to explore the common factors that explain how:</p>
<li>Stockton, the northern California city that filed for bankruptcy after the 2008 housing crash, managed to reduce avoidable hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and readmissions.</li>
<li>Pueblo, a Colorado city where nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line, promotes shared accountability for solving problems.</li>
<li>Paducah, in rural western Kentucky, leveraged Medicaid expansion to meet the primary care needs of newly insured low-income residents. </li>
<li>Akron, Ohio, in the nation’s Rust Belt, has been tackling obesity, infant mortality, and opioid addiction. </li>
<p>These communities offer concrete examples of how leaders across sectors can work together to increase access to care, promote delivery system reforms, and address the nonmedical determinants of health.</p> Read more