Washington’s Accountable Communities for Health Update

According to a recent Center’s For HealthCare Strategies (CHCS) Blog, “Washington’s Accountable Communities for Health (ACHs) are a key component of Healthier Washington, the state’s reform plan unfolding under its Medicaid Transformation waiver and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program.

“Since the first two ACHs were launched in 2015, each conducted a community needs assessment and resource inventory, using this information to identify regional health priorities.These include: access to care, behavioral health integration, chronic disease prevention and/or management, obesity/diabetes prevention, and oral health care, among others. The state is proposing to use its Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver to enable the ACHs to act as the primary point of accountability for the state. As such, the ACHs will convene providers and other partners to coordinate health transformation activities, implement interventions, connect clinical and community-based organizations, and track regional health improvements.”

CHCS also noted the following core elements of an ACH:

  • Working within a defined geographic area;
  • Developing a clear mission across stakeholders;
  • Creating a governance structure or identifying a backbone operating organization;
  • Forming multi-sector partnerships that span health and social services organizations, as well as criminal justice, education, and transportation;
  • Identifying priority focus areas, such as certain health conditions or target populations;
  • Creating data sharing and management structures to monitor population health; and
  • Establishing stable financing to support activities to address priorities, and ensure sustainability.