Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net

The Delta Center recognizes the important role state and national associations play in supporting community health centers, which serve over 28 million people, and community behavioral health providers, which serve over 10 million people nationwide.

Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net

Bringing essential partners together to advance policy, payment, and practice change in the safety net

As part of our commitment to advancing high-value care, the ACT Center is proud to be a strategic partner of the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net (Delta Center), which was launched in 2018. The Delta Center recognizes the important role state and national associations play in supporting community health centers, which serve over 28 million people, and community behavioral health providers, which serve over 10 million people nationwide. The initiative’s goal is to support state primary care associations and behavioral health state associations in working together to cultivate health policy and a care system that is more equitable and better meets the needs of individuals and families.

As a key part of its work, the Delta Center hosts a State Learning & Action Collaborative that provides grants to state primary care associations and behavioral health state associations to collaborate on a project together with the goal of advancing value-based policy, payment, and/or practice in the safety net. The first Delta Center grantee cohort ran from 2018-2020 with an optional extension from 2020-2021, and the second cohort runs from 2021-2023 (view the full list of Delta Center grantees). 

The challenge

  • Foster collaboration and collective action between primary care and behavioral health at the national, state, and local levels, with a particular focus on improving integration through policy and/or practice change
  • Build the knowledge and ability of state associations to ensure that changes in incentives and care systems meet the goals and needs of individuals and families and have a focus on improving equity.
  • Elevate insights for the field and for state and national decision makers to influence systems change

The work

  • Provide grantees with technical assistance and opportunities to learn from one another and experts through convenings, learning sessions, and site visits
  • Offer individualized support to grantees from a dedicated Delta Center coach. The ACT Center is currently coaching teams from New Hampshire and Oklahoma, and previously coached teams from Colorado, North Carolina, and Oregon.
  • Share insights and lessons learned with the field, as well as with policymakers through white papers, case studies, toolkits, and other resources

What we’re learning

  • Approaches for building relationships and aligning priorities across state primary care associations and behavioral health state associations
  • Best practices for meaningfully engaging consumers in complex policy, payment, and practice changes
  • Tactics for incorporating equity into policy, payment, and practice reforms
  • Strategies for working with state policymakers from across the political spectrum

Impact

The first Delta Center cohort fostered stronger relationships between primary care and behavioral health state associations, aligned strategies for policy change across organizations, enhanced associations’ ability to offer training and technical assistance to their members, and spurred state policy actions to advance improved access and care in the safety net. As the second cohort gets underway, we expect to learn much more about strategies and best practices for incorporating consumer voice and racial equity into this work.

PROJECT SNAPSHOT
FUNDER

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

PARTNERS

JSI
National Association for Community Health Centers
National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Families USA

KEY CONTRIBUTIONS

Patient engagement
Implementation support
Safety net practice change
Policy change
Dissemination

PROJECT LEAD

Katie Coleman

2018-present

Featured resource

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Learn about the evidence-based actions and infrastructure necessary to provide high-quality care and succeed in value-based payment