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Barriers to public-health officials in pushing population-health programs

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An article in looks at why it has been so tough for state and local public-health officials to incorporate  population-health programs into their work — a goal of the Affordable Care Act.

A couple of Yale University researchers conducted a study with the Milbank Memorial Fund to  identify the challenges  in implementing a more social services-oriented approach within health departments and across communities.

They found three “root causes” that get in the way of population-health effort: . “The health of a state’s population is not always prioritized relative to other societal goals. Incentives to improve health, including financial and political ones, are misaligned. And there is a lack of consensus regarding who is responsible for health.”

The report features a few population-health initiatives that are making a positive impact, including Vermont’s Blueprint for Health, Live Well San Diego and Rhode Island’s establishment of “health equity zones.”

The Rhode Island zones, for example, “pinpoint communities where social factors have a particular measurable impact on population health. Community needs assessments are conducted. In Woonsocket, for example, the biggest issues identified were substance abuse, teen pregnancy and trauma. Appropriate programs are then rolled out over a three- to four-year period.”

To read the article, please hit this link.



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