Partnerships for Health: Lessons for Bridging Community-Based Organizations and Health Care Organizations

Given the impact that social factors have on health status and expenditures, and the shift toward value-based payment models that reward providers based on outcomes, health care organizations (HCO) and community-based organizations (CBO) across the country are increasingly working together to address patients’ social needs. In Massachusetts, MassHealth is investing in accountable care organizations and community partners to integrate physical health, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports and also funding certain approved “flexible services” that address health-related social needs that are not otherwise covered as MassHealth benefits.

Based on a review of promising HCO-CBO partnership models, this brief outlines characteristics of effective HCO-CBO partnerships and provides recommendations to guide the development of successful collaborations between health care and social service organizations.