This article appears in the October 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Editor's note: This piece is an excerpt from a full case study that is available as part of the upcoming October 16 Rounds Event, Kaiser Permanente's Model for "Total Health." For more information, visit www.healthleadersmedia.com/rounds.
To this day the community health benefit for most hospital and health systems relies mainly on the calculation of the amount of uncompensated care they provide for the community. Implied in that calculation is that most of that is "sick" care. Kaiser Permanente has created a strategy that carefully plans community health benefit around opportunities that impact more than just acute healthcare.
"At Kaiser Permanente, our strategy is total health," says Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president of community benefit, research, and health policy for Kaiser Permanente. "That means access to the highest quality care when you need it. It also means that you live healthy in your home, in your school, in your workplace, in your neighborhood, and in your community."
Traditional wellness programs have long been a staple of health system community benefit. Kaiser Permanente has taken the concept a step further by looking at tackling the enablers that lead to chronic conditions, including obesity.