Regional Health Hubs (RHH) are envisioned as non-profit organizations dedicated to improving healthcare delivery and health outcomes. Hubs work in close concernt with consumers and stakeholders in the region. The focus is on residents who receive healthcare coverage through Medicaid — those who often lack access to the resources needed to be, and stay healthy. In his proposed FY 2020 budget, New Jersey Governor Murphy allocated $1.5 million to maintain the current Medicaid ACO structure. The Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, along with the other three regional collaboratives — Camden Coalition, Health Coalition of Passaic County, and Trenton Health Team — are now urging the state to build upon lessons of the ACO Medicaid Pilot and certify us as the first RHH in New Jersey.
While each Hub will approach this task leveraging the unique strengths of its partners and targeting the specific challenges of its region, there are five core functions of each proposed RHH:
1. Operate or utilize a regional HIE - One key advantage of each Hub is its robust data infrastrcuture. We gather and employ detailed health data, which is leveraged through regional HIEs. The reporting functions of the HIE are being continously enhanced to include analytics at both the macro (population) and micro (individual, disease category, age group, or other subset) level.
2. Convene mutli-sector partners around the region and facilitate priority initiatives - Each Hub already provides a community-based sctructure for convening stakeholders, and planning and executing population health interventions. We maintain a regional view of our communities, while supporting the health of each individual in that community. Working as partners, we have formed a network focused on improving well-being throughout the state.
3. Facilitate care coordination for high need populations - Because of each organization’s close ties to clinical partners and a data infrastructure that allows for sharing across providers, each Hub is well positioned to effectively coordinate care for the Medicaid beneficiaries served. Not only do the Hub HIEs share clinical data, but they also enable us to directly address Social Determinants of Health, as well. Our systems enable doctors to make direct referrals to food pantries, legal services, and other social services - and alert health ministries at local churches when a congregant is admitted to the hospital.
4. Operate as a clinical redesign specialist for providers, payers and the state - RHHs, with their partners in the community, prototype and pilot policies, tools and interventions to improve health and well-being in vulnerable populations. The state, payers, and providers need organizations to innovate on their behalf, operating small population interventions in partnership with those stakeholders in order to scale what works statewide.While the state, payers, and healthcare institutions are all focused on innovation in their respective areas, there is no structure in place for the state to support sustainable and innovative clinical redesign across sectors. RHHs can esnure that the innovation is locally focused and the partnerships described above enable quick improvements to care delivery.
5. Serve as a local expert and conduit for state priorities - RHHs will advise the state on regional needs, including physical and behavioral health, social determinants, and health equity in their communities. Not all areas of the state experience that same challenges in the same way, and knowledge of those differences and the way they affect state programs is a valuable service that Hubs can provide.
In recognizing the four RHHs, New Jersey will continue this important work and ensure that limited state resources are spent effectively and efficiently. Our RHH model allows the state to expand upon and strengthen what we believe is a national model for state and local partnership to improve health outcomes.