KC-AHC Team Attend Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) AHC Meeting

On November 8-9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) held the first in-person meeting in Baltimore, Maryland for all 31 bridge organizations participating in the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model (https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ahcm/). Mark Williams, MD, Jing Li, MD, MS, and Richard Herndon, MA, represented the KC-AHC (Kentucky Consortium for Accountable Health Communities) team and shared KC-AHC implementation experience and progress with the CMS team and other AHC Model participants. The meeting presented an opportunity for bridge organizations to share their lessons-learned, best practices, and challenges with each other. Many great ideas were exchanged ranging from conducting gap analyses and developing quality improvement plans to the creation of effective communication techniques with beneficiaries and clinical staff. Adding to the experience were several guest speakers from the CMS, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), University of Maryland, and Georgetown University who discussed the need of health policy changes and challenges associated with supporting and sustaining health communities. Philanthropic partnerships or funders were also discussed.

Given the success of the KC-AHC team in building productive partnerships, Dr. Li was invited to be a panelist at a discussion focused on best strategies in the establishment and maintenance of effective partnerships with community service providers. In this session (see photo and insert), Dr. Li highlighted our partnership with Community Action Kentucky (CAK) as an example of an effective partnership. She outlined the benefits of developing strong lines of communication and the promotion of a peer-to-peer learning system that facilitated the development of this partnership. She also contextualized this discussion by highlighting the structuring role that the KC-AHC advisory board provides not just in terms of communication, but also in the development of program milestones such as the gap analysis and the implementation plan.