OLYMPIA – The Health Care Authority today announced the selection of CHOICE Regional Health Network as one of ten organizations to receive grant awards totaling $485,000 to help communities across the state achieve better health, better care and lower costs as part of the statewide plan for a healthier Washington.
CHOICE and the other nine apparently successful applicants for the Community of Health Planning grants were notified today of their awards. In July they will begin six months of planning for the anticipated Accountable Community of Health (ACH) designation process. CHOICE will serve ten counties, including Clallam, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston and Wahkiakum.
“These grants support the crucial first step as we start down the path of addressing regional needs and assisting the development of community-based health care that is linked to community services,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Transformation of the overall system begins here.”
“The 10 impressive community and tribal entities awarded are critical to the state’s success in realizing health system transformation,” said Dorothy Teeter, director of the Health Care Authority. “Partnership among communities and the state toward accelerating current efforts in integrated health care, value-based payment and delivery, and population health improvement will ensure our success in achieving a healthier Washington.”
The Accountable Community of Health initiative is a significant part of the State Health Care Innovation Plan. It is based on the premise that no single sector in a community can create lasting, transformative change in health and health care. Clinical, community and government entities must work together with clearly defined goals that support whole-person health, with physical health, mental health, chemical dependency and basic living needs considered.
The planning grant opportunity offered up to 10 communities, including government and tribal entities, up to $50,000 each to aid in planning for collaborative, multi-sector work around mutual community and state health transformation priorities.
The apparently successful Community of Health Planning Grant awardees are:
- Pierce County Health Innovation Partnership, serving Pierce County, awarded $50,000.
- North Sound Accountable Community of Health, serving Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties, awarded $50,000.
- King County, serving King County, awarded $49,989.
- Better Health Together, serving Spokane, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Lincoln, Whitman and Adams Counties, awarded $50,000.
- CHOICE Regional Health Network, serving Clallam, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston and Wahkiakum Counties, awarded $50,000.
- Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance, serving Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin Counties, awarded $36,226.
- Southwest Washington Regional Health Alliance, serving Clark, Klickitat and Skamania Counties, and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, awarded $50,000.
- South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency, serving the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Skokomish Tribal Nation, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, and the Quinault, Cowlitz, Puyallup and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes, awarded $48,067.
- Yakima County Accountable Community of Health, serving Yakima County, awarded $50,000.
- North Central Health Partnership, serving Okanogan, Douglas, Chelan, Grant and Kittitas Counties, awarded $50,000.
The successful grant applications, which outline plans and areas of focus, will be posted on the State Health Care Innovation Plan website next week.
BACKGROUND OF STATE HEALTH CARE INNOVATION PLAN
In December 2013, the state released a five-year plan that focuses on three core strategies:
- Improve how health services are paid for;
- Ensure health care focuses on the whole person; and
- Build healthier communities through a broad collaborative, regional approach.
The Innovation Plan provides for designation of Accountable Communities of Health that will be regionally based, voluntary collaborative groups aligned to achieve healthier communities and populations, improve health care quality and lower health care costs. Community of Health planning grant awardees are not Accountable Communities of Health as outlined in the Innovation Plan and House Bill 2572. However, awardees are anticipated to be well positioned for that designation when the opportunity is announced.