Projects

The Center conducts primary research and evaluation to enhance healthcare organization, financing and management practices and focuses its work in the areas of population health management, accountable healthcare organization and management, health system innovation and effectiveness, and community and international health. Among our current and recent projects are:

Implementation of Accountable Care Organizations in California

The healthcare affordability crisis is prompting stakeholders: employers, purchasers, physicians and hospitals to work in an innovative and collaborative manner across organizational silos and the healthcare continuum to address gaps in care transitions and to improve care quality while reducing costs. The Center is currently engaged in research and evaluation of a ground-breaking virtually integrated health delivery model that involves three-way shared risk in a commercial HMO population.

Improving Healthcare for Older Adults

Efficiency. Effectiveness. Engagement.

Under a three-year grant from the SCAN Health Plan® Community Giving program, we are working in collaboration with the HealthCare Partners Institute for Applied Research and Education to undertake research, evaluation and dissemination initiatives aimed at improving healthcare for older adults.

Our work will focus on: Use of behavioral economics; e.g., incentives, as a method to generate and increase Medicare patient participation in promoting their own health and effectively managing their chronic conditions; use of interactive voice response (IVR) and other communications technologies for patients with chronic conditions to improve patient communication, engagement and activation through early identification of health exacerbations; analysis of large scale databases to develop and test methods to prospectively identify high-risk, high-cost Medicare patients prior to their becoming high-utilization, high-cost patients; and rapid and continuous dissemination of project findings through symposia, conferences, workshops and other approaches to share knowledge and foster adoption of innovative programs.

Evaluation of a Home Care Program for High Risk Patients

This California HealthCare Foundation-funded project is designed to document and assess the implementation and impact of an interdisciplinary home care program for high-risk patients. The project will also seek to identify variations in outcomes or implementation success across several socio-economically diverse regions in Southern California.

AHA/MEDPAC Data Center

Funded by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Center develops and analyzes trends in hospital performance across the United States.

Community Transformation Grant (CTG)

A collaboration grant of the Community Health Councils, the CTG focuses on implementing proven programmatic, policy, environmental, and infrastructure improvements in a series of racially/ethnically diverse and concentrated high-need Los Angeles communities to transform neighborhoods and support optimal health outcomes among low-income, vulnerable families, and residents. The two-year (October 2012-2014) project will promote tobacco-free living, healthy eating and active living, high-impact quality clinical and other preventative services, and healthy and safe physical environment. The project will affect approximately 479,000 residents living in Los Angeles, focusing on low-income, racial/ethnic minority communities.

REACH Obesity and Hypertension Project

The goal of the three-year REACH demonstration grant (October 2012-2015) is to create a community-based model for improving health in underserved, heavily minority communities through an interwoven set of activities that improve adolescent and adult health outcomes. These activities include development of school-based wellness centers, improving the nutritional and physical activity resources available to community residents living in neighborhoods around the schools, and through the institutionalization of health improvement strategies into community plans. The REACH demonstration grant is a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Community Health Councils (CHC). The CHC has also partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Our faculty researchers will serve as the project evaluators, working with a group of subject-matter experts to develop a way to measure intervention success and support the partners’ development of a model that other cities might benefit from. The project will affect approximately 449,000 African-American and Hispanic/Latino residents in the West Adams Baldwin Hills and South Los Angeles areas.

Collaboration to Expand Community Medical Home Access and Reduce Avoidable ED Use

The North Vallejo Patient Access Partnership “Right Care, Right Place” project sought to guide patients to more appropriate, better coordinated, and less costly care settings than emergency departments (EDs)—a growing health care imperative. Increasing primary care resources can be an important strategy to reduce rates of avoidable ED use and take pressure off strained community EDs, while enabling patients to establish a well-functioning primary care medical home. The Center conducted a detailed evaluation and assessment of a community-based intervention that produced a new, collaborative approach for a federally qualified health center (FQHC) providing a comprehensive primary and urgent care alternative to the hospital ED.

Economic & Financial Status of California Emergency Departments

The Center has engaged in a number of projects pertaining to clinical and access issues surrounding hospital emergency department (ED) operations. These projects were intended to increase understanding of EDs in the California healthcare system and of their essential role in the community health delivery system. Our work has focused on developing economic models and databases to understand the role of EDs in driving hospital costs, revenues, and in overall hospital profitability, to understand the issues and challenges of providing ED specialty call panel coverage, as well as to understand and illuminate comparative ED utilization patterns at the county and local levels.

The Effects of Hospital Systems on the Competitiveness and Performance of Hospital Markets in California

The Center has developed special expertise in the structure and functioning of hospital systems in California to better comprehend the impact of systems formation on the competitive structure of healthcare markets, as well as how varying negotiating strategies employed by systems impact the competitiveness and financial performance of hospitals.