July 13, 2018

Delta Center awards $2.4 million to 10 state associations

KPWHRI’s Katie Coleman leads MacColl Center’s role in the initiative, including new national grants for value-based payment and care

SEATTLE—The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net recently announced that it has awarded 10 grants totaling $2.4 million to primary care and behavioral health state associations nationwide, including in Washington state.
The Delta Center, a newly formed initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is a national training and technical assistance center that aims to inspire innovation and change in value-based payment and care at national, state, and provider levels. Value-based payment shifts health care reimbursement from being based on the volume of care—how many services providers perform—toward being based more closely on care’s quality and outcomes: how healthy the patients end up being.
The Delta Center is led by JSI (John Snow, Inc.) Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) in collaboration with the Center for Care Innovations (CCI) and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (MacColl).  The National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and the RWJF serve as strategic partners for the initiative.

MacColl’s role

“The MacColl Center is so excited to work with and learn from these 10 high-performing states to build a stronger safety net,” says MacColl research associate Katie Coleman, MSPH, who is the MacColl site principal investigator for the Delta Center. “Given the interest and activity in value-based pay, these states have the potential to show how these changes in policy and practice make a difference for patients.”
These grants are the first cohort of the Delta Center State Learning & Action Collaborative. The Collaborative will bring grantees representing community health centers and behavioral health organizations together to learn from experts and their peers with the goal of advancing value-based payment and care in the safety net.
This work is important because community health centers and community behavioral health organizations are a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system, serving more than 27 million Medicaid patients and 10 million uninsured patients each year.

Linking behavioral health to primary care

For many participating states, this initiative has sparked collaboration between primary care and behavioral health state associations. “Historically, we [primary care and behavioral health state associations] have not worked together,” notes Joan Miller, senior policy analyst at the Washington Council for Behavioral Health. Applying to be a part of this learning collaborative created a new relationship with our counterpart. We’re already working on a sustainability plan to make sure our collaboration continues after the two-year grant.” 
Delta Center activities will focus on building state association capacity in state-level policy and advocacy, fostering novel collaboration between primary care and behavioral health at the state level and augmenting associations’ ability to support their members with technical assistance and training in the skills to succeed in value-based payment and care. 
The cohort will convene virtually and in person over the next two years to discuss successes and challenges as they pursue value-based payment and care in their states. “Patient-centered care that results in improved outcomes is facilitated by a supportive policy environment and ongoing training for providers,” comments Rachel Tobey, director of JSI’s California office and co-director of the Delta Center. “By building capacity of state associations that provide ongoing training and influence how providers are paid, the Delta Center hopes to build a stronger safety net that results in better care and health for patients, happier staff working in primary care and behavioral health, and improved total costs and reduced health disparities across the whole population.”
The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net is proud to work with the following organizations:
  • Community Mental Health Association of Michigan
  • Texas Council for Community Centers
  • Washington Council for Behavioral Health
  • New York State Council for Community Behavioral Health
  • Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs North Carolina Community Health Center Association
  • Colorado Community Health Network
  • New Mexico Primary Care Association
  • Maine Primary Care Association
  • Missouri Primary Care Association
  • Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers (participating with funding from the Safety Net Advancement Center, another RWJF initiative)

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Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) improves the health and health care of Kaiser Permanente members and the public. The institute has conducted nonproprietary public-interest research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating major health problems since 1983. Government and private research grants provide our main funding. Follow KPWHRI research on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to our free monthly newsletter. 

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