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Population, Community, and Public Health: Measuring the Benefits

Population Health Management in Health Care Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-78441-197-8

Publication date: 16 October 2014



Population, community, and public health notions are addressed separately in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), have different foci and stakeholders, build on different frameworks to achieve their aims, and apply different measures to determine the long-term impact of interventions. This paper attempts to clarify each concept and proposes a method of evaluating each of these sets of health-related activities based on the benefits that accrue to the respective stakeholders.


In addition to indicating how to affect change and improvements in health, the ecological model of health also provides insight into how the benefits from health-related activities may or may not flow back to the entities sponsoring health interventions. By clearly defining each of the concepts and examining the methods and metrics being used to select activities and measure benefits, a valuation model is developed that measures the financial impact on the targeted population as well as the sponsoring institution.


Defining, measuring, and evaluating are important to bring clarity to how individual organizations can contribute to the overall health of the population, as well as the limits of any single organization in doing so. Collective and upstream action will be required to improve the population’s health, but identifying and justifying the role of each participating organization is a challenge that still lacks an overarching vision that can be explained and measured to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.


Decision makers must justify how resources are committed in an era of scarcity and limited financial means. Moreover, methods must be in place to measure the impact of potential collaborations. The proposed valuation framework lays out the natural incentives, the responses to those incentives, and how to select initiatives that maximize value from the perspective of the various stakeholders.



Turner, J.S. and Evashwick, C. (2014), "Population, Community, and Public Health: Measuring the Benefits", Population Health Management in Health Care Organizations (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-169.



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