Integrating Health and Social Services through a Novel Independent Practice Association

Integrating Health and Social Services through a Novel Independent Practice Association

This study, funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Systems for Action research program, investigates the impact of a novel independent practice association (IPA) formed among community-based social service organizations (CBOs) to address social determinants of health among residents of upstate New York.  The Healthy Alliance IPA allows diverse CBOs offering services for housing, transportation, food, and other social needs to join together in a shared-governance association that facilitates referrals, care coordination, and performance-based contracting with health plans and medical providers.  A quasi-experimental research design is used to compare patients residing in counties served by the Healthy Alliance IPA with a matched comparison group of patients from other counties, using measures of healthcare utilization, social service utilization, and total cost of care. The study focuses specifically on the outcomes experienced by racial and ethnic minority populations and also examines the roles played by CBOs led by Black, Indigenous, Latino and other persons of color.  The research team is led by Stanford University School of Medicine in partnership with the Healthy Alliance IPA, Albany County Department of Health, Rensselaer County Department of Health, and other community partners.  

Principal Investigator: 
Jonathan G. Shaw, MD, MS, Clinical Associate Professor
Associate Chair, Community Partnership
Medical Co-Director, Evaluation Sciences Unit
Division of Primary Care & Population Health
Stanford University School of Medicine

Todd Wagner, PhD, Professor (Research) at the Department of Surgery
Fellow at the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research
Director at the Health Economics Resource Center
Stanford University School of Medicine

Project Partners: 
Elena Rosenbaum, MD
Medical Director
Healthy Alliance

Julie Lawrence, MBA, MA
Entrepreneur in Residence
Healthy Alliance

Project Details

Funding Amount: 
Primary Investigator: 
Jonathan Shaw