The transformation of the U.S. health care delivery system is underway. As health care providers and community-based partners recognize the impact of the multifaceted determinants of health that extend beyond the clinical setting, there is an “opportunity for health care delivery systems, public health agencies, community-based organizations, and many other entities to work together to improve health outcomes in the communities they serve.”
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Health Care Innovation Awards (HCIA) Round 1 funded 107 awardees to implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver improved care, better health, and lower costs to Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees, particularly those with the highest health care needs. Among the awardees was the Nemours Children’s Health System’s Optimizing Health Outcomes (OHO) for Children with Asthma in Delaware project, which tests a multifaceted model that incorporates a focus on the upstream determinants of health.
Nemours Children’s Health System’s interest in HCIA grew out of a long-standing commitment to child health. In 2004, Nemours established an operational division called Nemours Health and Prevention Services to focus on preventing disease and promoting health, broadening the focus from the patient panel to the health of all of Delaware’s children. For a decade, the division has operated alongside Nemours’s flagship Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Nemours’s primary and specialty care practices in the Delaware Valley. To enhance integration of clinical care and community-based prevention, as well as to achieve a broader mission of helping children grow up healthy, in 2011 Nemours established a leadership work group to develop a strategy to optimize health for Delaware’s children. When the Innovation Center announced its competition for the first round of HCIA, the Nemours team identified an opportunity to further catalyze transformation.