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In the face of increasing health care costs and uncertainty about health care quality in the United States, community-based collective impact initiatives driven by regional funders offers a new way to improve patient outcomes at the local level. Collectively, community-based foundations can spark a national movement to achieve better health outcomes at lower cost through cross-sectoral collaboration. 

Top Takeaways

  1. Cost and quality are not correlated in the U.S. health care system: increased health care spending and costs does not translate to improved patient outcomes.
  2. The interactions of local medical stakeholders, government, and employers, in each community are fundamentally responsible for the success or failure of the local health care system.
  3. Through collective impact efforts and proactive data collection at the local level, community foundations can rally local leaders around a particular medical issue and develop a unified strategy for improving patient outcomes while significantly reducing costs. 
Improving the quality and lowering the cost of U.S. health care is a uniquely powerful place for community philanthropy.