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Burwell calls Fort Dodge, Iowa, community-health model

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Downtown Fort Dodge.

Sylvia Burwell, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, has hailed Fort Dodge, Iowa (pop. 25,000), as a model for improving community health.

That’s in large part because Fort Dodge’s branch of the Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health System also hosts one of the first Accountable Care Organizations in the country. The ACO work that healthcare providers have done in Fort Dodge makes it one of the nation’s best examples of how to improve health while curbing costs.

The Des Moines Register reports that Ms. Burwell visited Fort Dodge on July 14 to hear local physicians, nurses and patients about successes in healthcare. “We know that folks are depending on us to make more progress on affordability and on quality. I’m here to visit today one of the great models of people accelerating the change that the rest of the nation needs to do,” the paper reported.

The Register said  that  Fort Dodge’s ACO is particularly  unusual among other early ones because it has  at least broken even financially. Ms. Burwell cited the  collaboration among healthcare providers and a range of community agencies for the success.

For the full article from The Register, please hit this link.

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