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Governor’s Council on Healthcare Innovation and Reform

Partnerships for Better Health, Public Health, Health News, Foundation Updates

Montana Healthcare Foundation’s CEO, Dr. Aaron Wernham, was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Healthcare Innovation and Reform. Made up of leaders from Montana’s health insurance, healthcare, and public health sectors, this council is charged with coming up with ways to improve health and contain healthcare costs.

Healthcare now consumes nearly 20 percent of the U.S. economy and the costs are continuing to rise, yet by many indicators health status in the U.S. lags behind nations that spend much less. In recent years, Montana’s healthcare costs have risen faster than all but nine other states. Through making grants, conducting research, convening stakeholders, and providing technical expertise and leadership, MHCF supports collaborative, systems-based solutions that are workable in Montana and make measurable improvements in health outcomes. MHCF focuses on supporting new inter-agency partnerships designed to deliver more accessible and effective care by integrating care for medical illnesses, mental illness, and addiction; expanding the use of care coordination, community health workers, and other community-based approaches to improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical care; and strengthening efforts to prevent disease through addressing upstream risk factors such as poverty and poor quality housing. In its initial meetings, the council identified three priorities that overlap considerably with the foundation’s focus:

  • Integrated care for mental illness, chemical dependency, and physical health.
  • Health disparities and addressing the social determinants of health.
  • Health information exchange and telehealth.

This brief outlines work that many of our 2015 grantees are doing to plan and implement innovative “value-based” approaches to care.

Listen to this excellent story by Montana Public Radio on the work of the Governor’s Council on Healthcare Innovation and Reform.