Hospitals and Health Systems Ensuring Access in Their Communities

This is a compendium of case examples of AHA members from across the country employing the nine emerging strategies recommended by the association’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities.


In late 2016, AHA’s Task Force on Ensuring Access for Vulnerable Communities issued a report examining ways in which vulnerable rural and urban communities, and the hospitals that serve them, could safeguard access to health care services. The task force considered a number of integrated, comprehensive strategies to reform health care delivery and payment and its report sets forth a menu of nine emerging strategies from which communities may select based on their unique needs, support structures and preferences. While the task force’s focus was on vulnerable communities, these strategies have broader applicability for all communities as hospitals redefine how they provide better, more integrated care. The nine strategies considered by the task force are described on the next page.

Following the release of the report, AHA began developing resources and tools to help our members evaluate to the strategies included in the task force report. As a result, we have released a variety of webinars, educational opportunities, guides and toolkits to assist AHA members as they discuss and implement these strategies. For example, AHA has developed one-page guides on each of the emerging strategies. We also have released guides that help hospital leaders initiate dialogue on these topics with their governance boards and communities. Hospitals and Health Systems Ensuring Access in Their Communities guide is a compendium of case examples of AHA members from across the country employing these innovative strategies in their communities.

The AHA remains committed to ensuring access to critical health care services and we will continue developing new tools and resources. All of these resources are housed on our task force website,, which serves as an online catalogue of AHA resources on ensuring access in vulnerable communities.

Ensuring Access Case Study Image

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