Capacity Building, Strategy

How One Foundation Is Investing in CBOs to Create Value in the Health System

View on bridge from the sky

As the healthcare space shifts from more episodic to more integrated and coordinated care, and as the makeup of our population continues to age, progressive community foundations are turning to us for new recipes for success. In a way, creating an emerging, adaptive strategy for a foundation to invest in its community is like concocting a recipe: you need the right measures of several key ingredients and you need to know how they work together. To position foundations and their community partners for success in this space, one of the most important ingredients is an understanding of health systems and the healthcare business, while expertise in organizational development and change management is just as critical. Read on to learn more about how we’re enabling one foundation to blend the right strategic ingredients to enable transformation in its community’s healthcare infrastructure.

The Highlights

  • We conducted extensive market research and interviews with multiple providers across our client’s community to form the basis for this foundation’s age-friendly healthcare transformation strategy
  • We are actively supporting this foundation in implementing its initiative to develop a network of partnerships between community-based organizations, providers and payers to improve residents’ overall health and reduce pressure on the community’s healthcare infrastructure
  • We are working with this foundation to leverage cross-sector learning and dialogue as a central element of enhancing grantees’ health business and leadership skills

The Opportunity

A progressive community foundation came to Collaborative Consulting with a recognition of the related trends of a shifting healthcare environment and a rapid growth in the aging population, and was intent on exploring creative solutions to achieving better care through medical-social integration.

This foundation understood the need for a deeply considered strategy that started with the intended outcome in mind from the start. To get there, this foundation saw the potential for investing in long-term capacity-building of its CBO grantees rather than funding short-term projects. Building business skills and deeper leadership capacities within CBOs is central to our client’s belief that these investments can position CBOs to be supportive partners with healthcare payers and providers, which will strengthen the overall healthcare experience for the community’s aging population.

The Approach

One of the most exciting aspects of this client program was starting from scratch to build this initiative together.

At the start, we conducted extensive market research and in-depth interviews with multiple providers to understand how value-based healthcare efforts are being adopted within this particular community and the extent of market readiness for the type of initiative this foundation was looking to build. We followed this with the assembly of a strategy design team that represented voices and perspectives from Collaborative Consulting, the foundation, the local county, and several community-based organizations. Together, the design team worked with the market research findings and identified emerging trends to inform a strategy that could best achieve the goals of improving the effectiveness of healthcare delivery for seniors and enhancing seniors’ health and healthcare experience.

As we’ve moved into the implementation phase of this initiative, we are actively educating and empowering the foundation’s CBO grantees to expand their strategic and operational capacities by positioning them to create business capacity plans, develop systems-oriented leaders, engage in partnership development conversations with healthcare providers and payers, and explore different value propositions that can create meaningful progress toward their goals. Picture: a customized crash course in business, healthcare and change management.

To continue positioning this foundation’s network for success, another key area of focus for our client is launching a cross-sector collaborative to build and strengthen relationships across the healthcare continuum. To begin, we are convening speakers representing providers, payers and other CBO organizations to help the foundation’s grantees understand the healthcare system better, ask questions to gain empathy about what was important to these entities, and begin to build strategic relationships with the aim of delivering better care to the aging population in their community.

The Potential Realized

This foundation, with the support of Collaborative Consulting and a multi-perspective design team, has established an initiative to strengthen the strategic capacities of local community-based organizations and to facilitate cross-sector partnerships intended to enable aging adults in the community to have access to high-quality care. The foundation believes that this approach is making progress within the community toward ultimately enhancing value-based initiatives in care delivery, enabling integrated care between health and social care providers, and embracing a consumer-centered model of care.

As we continue moving through the implementation phase of the initiative, our client is set up to empower its CBO grantee leaders to make smarter business decisions, demonstrate their organization’s value, and engage in cross-sector conversations that position their organization as a valuable, sustainable provider and partner along the healthcare delivery continuum. At the same time, we are helping to position this foundation to effect change within the community’s healthcare infrastructure to allow all entities to enter into new models of care delivery, prevent avoidable hospital re-admissions, avert institutionalization, and reduce the overall cost of care.

And of course, at the center of this transformational work is the consumer. Our client’s investment in this initiative should result in better coordination of care to improve the physical, environmental, social, and emotional health of this community’s aging population.

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Lori Peterson

Lori launched Collaborative Consulting in 2010. With experience in the healthcare industry and a psychology and organizational development background, Lori’s focus areas include cross-sector partnership development, multi-stakeholder initiative design and facilitation, and change activation and implementation.