Colorado Health Neighborhoods FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a health neighborhood?
Where did the concept for the health neighborhoods approach originate?
In what ways does the health neighborhood approach help fulfill Centura Health’s mission?
How does the health neighborhoods approach represent a “next” generation of health care?
How are you bringing this vision to life in a tangible way?
How long will it take to make this transformation? Will consumers notice a difference?
How will health neighborhoods provide better care?
How will the investment in health neighborhoods impact health care costs?
A health neighborhood is a physician-led effort to create a clinically integrated network, where health care teams converge to provide primary care, specialty services, urgent care, diagnostic services and occupational health. Built around the model of the patient centered medical home, the idea is to shift the focus of traditional health care from one of reactive “sick care” to proactive “wellness care” with an emphasis on prevention and improving people’s health to optimize value. The model incorporates the key components of optimal health – primary care, specialty services, urgent care, diagnostic services and occupational health – which have typically operated independently, and encourages coordination and quality among providers, building a consumer-centric health care delivery model that reduces costs and makes care more understandable, accessible and effective.
We believe that health is a product of lifestyle behaviors, genetics, the environment and medical care. Of these, lifestyle behaviors have by far the greatest impact upon health. We also view health in holistic terms as the combination of physical, spiritual, mental, and social health. Furthermore, we believe that every person is on a healthy life-cycle, and many of us will also encounter one or more health crises during our lifetime. Our challenge is to think proactively rather than reactively to effectively manage these health crises and to return to our “normal” healthy life-cycle as quickly as possible.
More than three years ago – before “health care reform” became a household phrase – thousands of Centura Health stakeholders, including physicians, associates, patients and caregivers, major employers from across Colorado, developed Centura Health 2020, our strategic plan to chart the course for the future of health care in our state. Health neighborhoods were a foundational element of the plan, and through their development, we are advancing health care delivery by focusing beyond the walls of our hospitals to meet the individual population health needs of the communities we serve.
This is truly nurturing the health of the people in our communities. Health neighborhoods fulfill the second part of our mission, enabling us to enhance our focus on overall health and move us from providing just “sick care” to providing “wellness care.” Health information technology and appropriately trained staff such as health coaches and navigators, guide consumers through the system and customize each person’s needs across by seamlessly coordinating comprehensive care, focusing on preventive health and management of chronic illness. This approach enhances a provider’s ability to follow consumers across the health care continuum and treat the whole person, rather than just a medical condition.
Traditionally, health care has been reactive and focused more on health crisis and the physician and the hospital rather than on the consumer. Through the health neighborhood approach, we are moving past the bricks and mortar model of health care delivered within the walls of our hospitals which is associated with sick care, and shifting the entire paradigm of traditional health care delivery to focus more on keeping populations healthy. The vision we have for the health of all Coloradans is one where a circle of health care services consistently surrounds a healthy individual no matter where they go or what their health and wellness needs might be throughout their lifetime. This circle is connected via that individual’s secure electronic health record so that no matter the need that arises, in times of wellness or sickness, the ‘neighborhood’ is fully in sync with one another about the individual’s history and current state of health. The neighborhood approach encourages consumers to take care of themselves along the way, making it easy and convenient to get important checkups and screenings, thereby increasing the chances of early detection and mitigation of significant health issues.
We are at the very front end of this massive change, and it requires us to physically rearrange how and where we deliver health care by creating smaller footprint, higher impact facilities such as our new health campus at 144th Avenue and I-25 in Westminster or our current health campus in Castle Rock. This shift requires us to re-engineer our approach by clustering services into convenient health neighborhood locations to provide the necessary infrastructure for how they will deliver health and wellness within those neighborhoods.
The transformation is underway - we are already engaging Centura Health associates in this new model of health care. When we do allow for broader consumer access, it might be a quiet, subtle change that consists of some additional tools and support and ease of access to services or increased convenience like expanded office hours. However, behind the scenes we are fundamentally changing every aspect of how we provide health and wellness support. While it is an incremental task that will be many years in the making, it is a foundational change that will roll out in phases and evolve through time, but will likely never end.
Health neighborhoods will deliver better care by focusing on wellness and prevention and keeping people healthy, utilizing evidence-based medicine and best practices, while increasing convenience through multiple access points, within a service-friendly environment at an affordable cost. Through an integrated team of health care providers - doctors, nurses, physician assistants, health coaches and navigators - Centura Health aims to revitalize the consumer-physician relationship, placing consumers at the center of the equation and empowering them to become active partners in their health. By promoting wellness and educating consumers to more actively participate in their health, we believe they will utilize the health care system differently, more effectively, and at a lower cost to keep them healthy.
This new model changes the paradigm of how consumers interact with their health and the health care system today. The health neighborhood approach shifts from a traditional reactionary hospital- and physician-centric model to a consumer-centric model aimed at keeping people healthy. We believe this approach will decrease duplicate services, reduce the need for unnecessary treatments or visits, lower health care costs and enhance the overall effectiveness of health care delivery. The model requires us to physically rearrange how and where we deliver health care by creating smaller footprint, higher impact pockets of health care services that offer a tremendous amount of convenience by clustering services to help consumers utilize the right care, at the right place, at the right time. Over time, expected improvements in population health will demonstrate the effectiveness of this new approach, and lower the overall cost of health care by identifying potential health problems while they are easily treatable.