Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation


Our Role

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation is a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health.

Our Experience

The Center builds upon Community Catalyst’s many years of success working on the ground in more than 40 states and across the stakeholder spectrum—with advocates, academics, state and federal policymakers and industry—to examine problems and identify practical solutions to improve the consumer health care experience. The Center’s team has honed their expertise as leaders in state and federal health innovations—from the creation of the Commonwealth Care Alliance, a groundbreaking delivery system in Massachusetts, to shaping the design of demonstration projects for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid in more than a dozen states. Our steadfast relationships with consumer advocates and collaborations with forward-thinking leaders in the health sector and government—designing and implementing improvements in care—keep us continually on the frontline of new approaches to health care.

Our Approach

The Center works directly with consumer advocates to increase the skills and power they have to establish an effective voice at all levels of the health care system. We collaborate with innovative health plans, hospitals and providers to incorporate the consumer experience into the design of their systems of care. We work with state and federal policymakers to spur change that makes the health system more responsive to consumers.

Our Work

The Center engages stakeholders to advance a consumer-centered health system transformation agenda through:

Investments in State and Local Advocacy
Many states are leading the way in efforts to improve existing delivery systems and introduce new models of care that have the potential for national impact. The Center makes strategic investments through sub-grants and assistance in states where an aggressive consumer advocacy campaign will make a notable difference in realizing health system improvements.

Leadership in Action
The Center engages leaders in the health care community to collaborate and share knowledge with advocacy organizations while also exposing these leaders to the advocacy and policymaking expertise of consumer advocates.

Research and Evaluation
The Center partners with other organizations to conduct research and evaluation that builds the evidence base for people-centered care, including supports and services, and for consumer and community engagement becoming an essential part of “the rules of the road.”

Providing Support Services to Delivery Systems and Health Plans
The Center provides consultative services on consumer engagement to health plans and providers seeking to develop new models of care, including Accountable Care Organizations, health homes and demonstration programs for those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Our Policy Priorities

Our focus on policy and practice change is centered on six priority areas:

  • Structures for meaningful consumer engagement to ensure that people have a voice in policy decisions, the health care organizations that serve them and their own health care. The Center promotes a meaningful role for consumers, family members and advocates in advisory councils and engagement of patients as part of clinical care.
  • Payment arrangements that incentivize people-centered health care by paying providers for achieving the health outcomes that matter most, ensuring that providers are appropriately compensated for the care of complex patients, and reducing patient barriers to accessing needed care.
  • Resources for community and population health in order to address the social and economic factors affecting the health of people in their communities. The Center supports the use of community benefit programs to reflect and target community needs and priorities, the improved alignment of community resources, an increased investment in prevention, and robust evaluation of population health outcomes.
  • Consumer protection through the application of strong safeguards including independent and effective ombudsman programs. The Center also backs protections in the form of consumer-centric quality measures, transparency and consumer choice.
  • Person-centered culture of care through the adoption of care models and best practices that meet the specific goals, preferences and needs of the population being served, including at the end of life. The Center promotes coordinated care and the integration of physical health, behavioral health and community supports and services. We place particular emphasis on the care of three vulnerable populations:
  • Older adults and people with disabilities who have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage (“dual eligibles”)
  • People with substance use disorders and mental health conditions
  • Children and youth with special health care needs
  • Health equity for underserved populations in all health system transformation efforts. The Center prioritizes expanding the collection and reporting of data on disparities, ensuring that care improvement efforts specifically address health disparities, and promoting a culturally competent workforce, including the use of community health workers.

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