The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that publishes The Milbank Quarterly, commissions projects, and convenes state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important to population health.
We focus on a number of topic areas identified by state health policy leaders as important to population health.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University is a national leader in evidence-based decision making and policy design.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. Get the latest from thought leaders, including Christopher F. Koller, president of the Fund.
We publish The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to population health.
News and Updates
May 30, 2017
Total Costs of Care
For the second year in a row, the Fund participated in the Health Datapalooza conference, hosted by AcademyHealth in late April. An event sponsor, the Fund organized a session on integrated data systems (IDS) as a tool to improve population health.
“Improving population health means looking beyond the medical system to identify and address the social, economic, and environmental factors that can affect an individual’s or a population’s overall health,” said Rachel Block, program officer at the Fund. “States are promoting broad population health strategies and interventions, but to do so they need to tap multiple data sources that can help target opportunities for these improvements.”
Each year, Health Datapalooza brings together diverse stakeholder perspectives with the goal of accelerating innovations through creative applications of data integration. IDS link data from across government agencies, such as schools or human services, often with the goal of analyzing case management or to monitor or evaluate programs.
The Fund invited Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP), an organization that helps states and other groups use IDS, to present a panel focused on how IDS works and the different ways to tackle the challenges of implementing these systems. Panelists included both AISP network sites, as well as state agencies that are expanding their use of IDS.
Amy Hawn Nelson, executive director of the Institute for Social Capital, housed at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, explained that building IDS involve managing governance and relationships among stakeholders, including data suppliers and users. IDS follow a complex set of federal and state laws governing data collection and access in areas such as health care, education, criminal justice, and housing, to name a few. IDS governance establishes rules of the road so that participants can trust that the system will effectively navigate through these different rules.
The panelists then described some of the innovative work going on in the states.
“IDS will become an essential tool for everyone involved in population health improvement,” said Block. Because states control large data assets relating to population health, “state leadership is needed to accelerate IDS development and use, supplying both the vision and mechanisms for collaboration. The state’s role is multi-faceted—creating or supporting governance for data sharing, investing in the technical resources to facilitate data integration, and, just as importantly, engaging and supporting key stakeholders across the public-private spectrum who contribute to population health improvement on the ground level.” AISP will continue to provide technical assistance to states in 2017.
The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience.
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