SIMPMO: HEC Initiative
Population Health Council

Population Health Council Launches Major Initiative to Create a Healthier Connecticut

Inspired to improve the health and health equity of Connecticut residents, representatives of health care consumers, providers and community health organizations, recently joined the Connecticut Population Health Council and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman to launch the new Health Enhancement Community (HEC) initiative, a project of the Connecticut State Innovation Model (SIM), which is now part of the newly established Office of Health Strategy (OHS).

The HEC initiative aims to empower regions across the state to use collaborations of diverse community partners to sustain efforts to prevent disease, improve health and lower costs. OHS hopes this effort will serve as one of two key strategies for redesigning health and health care across the state. The other will focus on modernizing primary care delivery. Stakeholders joining the Population Health Council meeting recognized the critical need to focus on health improvement and were excited to get started.

 “The way we have been delivering care for the last hundred years has not been good enough and we have to change that,” said Craig Glover Chief Executive Officer of Norwalk Community Health Center.

HEC expands on previous SIM efforts. To date, SIM has concentrated on improving health care delivery and payment, particularly in ways that support better care coordination, improved health equity, and lower costs. The HEC broadens SIM’s focus to strategies that prevent disease and improve overall health, with a focus on the social determinants of health. Also, in a HEC model, the service area is based on geography rather than the patients who see a particular physician or medical group.  HECs will be accountable for health, health equity, and related costs for all residents living in the geography. They will be rewarded for preventing disease, improving health and lowering costs.

“We need more cost-effective care for sick people, but we also need to dial into the investment opportunity for keeping people from being sick,” states Mark Schaefer, Director of CT SIM.

The state and its partners understand HECs will require deep and broad collaborations, sometimes across untraditional partners, and a strong commitment to seeking out and incorporating feedback. It expects individuals will need support outside of the typical services provided in a physician office or hospital. It will require all of the organizations within a community to contribute to health improvement.              

{Text Box: Three key highlights from the discussion: 1. Health Enhancement Communities (HEC) will need to build partnerships that reach beyond traditional healthcare. 2. The HEC plan should be logical and actionable, detailing strategies for implementing and sustaining HECs and give clear evidence of their economic benefits. 3. Changing health and health care will require a cultural shift among individuals, organizations, and communities. It will be important to highlight the benefits and minimize the burden. } Outside the health care system, HECs will engage diverse community stakeholders including social service organizations, faith leaders, employers, unions and others. Each of these stakeholders contribute valuable expertise and experience. And, they bring trusted connections to healthcare consumers whose perspectives will ensure policy changes align with residents’ needs and priorities.

Lt. Gov. Wyman noticed the strong participation at the Population Health Council HEC meeting and said it’s “exciting to bring so many different people together to talk about population health within the context of payment and insurance reforms.”

Content Last Modified on 4/11/2018 12:12:42 PM