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Wolf Administration Launches Regional Accountable Health Councils

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has announced the formation of five Regional Accountable Health Councils, part of Governor Wolf’s Whole-Person Health Reform plan.

According to a DHS news release, the RAHCs will “…lead efforts to address social determinants of health, reduce health disparities, and promote equity and value in health care” as part of “…a partnership between the Wolf Administration, Medicaid managed care organizations, hospitals and health systems, and community-based health and social service providers and organizations.”

The news release explains that

The RAHCs will provide opportunities for strategic health planning across the health care system and better collaboration between health care providers and social service organizations with the goal to develop strategies and partnerships addressing health needs and disparities in their communities. Five RAHCs were established to reach Southeast, Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, and the Lehigh/Capitol regions of Pennsylvania.

Each RAHC will include the payers at the managed care level; providers in hospitals, health systems, and smaller practices; and community-based organizations that help communities with food and housing insecurity as well as other social needs.

In addition, the DHS news release explains that the RAHC were established with five primary goals:

  • Promoting health equity and eliminating health disparities;
  • Identifying and mitigating regional social determinant of health needs;
  • Aligning value-based purchasing initiatives to achieve better care and better health at lower costs;
  • Supporting and steering population health improvement processes, including regional efforts to advance the integration of physical and behavioral health care; and,
  • Centering health improvement efforts in the communities where needs exist most.

RAHCs are also charged with drafting a Regional Health Transformation Plan for their region. These plans will build on needs assessments and stakeholder feedback regarding population health needs and opportunities for improving health equity in communities in their region. The plans will establish priorities, continue work already underway, and opportunities for further work to promote better health for individuals and families in their regions. These plans will also establish areas with significant health disparities known as health equity zones and identify strategies for address these disparities.

Learn more from this DHS news release.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania