Dr Karen van Caulil: Involving Community and Employers Is Important in Healthcare

Experts say it all the time: healthcare is local. That makes it really important to involve employers and local communities that know best the challenges consumers face, said Karen van Caulil, PhD, president and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition.

Experts say it all the time: healthcare is local. That makes it really important to involve employers and local communities that know best the challenges consumers face, said Karen van Caulil, PhD, president and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition.

Experts say it all the time: healthcare is local. That makes it really important to involve employers and local communities that know best the challenges consumers face, said Karen van Caulil, PhD, president and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition.

Transcript (slightly modified)

When improving the quality and value of healthcare, what is the importance of involving the community and the employer?

Well it's really important. There has been a lot of news lately about 20 large national companies coming together in the Healthcare Transformation Alliance, and they're going to use the power of the many numbers of employees that they have to be able to affect change in the market. And what we find, though, with these large companies, when they're making decisions at a national headquarters level, they don't necessarily have enough lives in an independent market to affect that kind of change.

So it's really important at the community level. And you hear all the time that healthcare is local and it really, really is: the conditions that the individuals in the community suffer from, the culture, all the different barriers to access that exist depending on the socioeconomic conditions and resources. And so employers have a really good sense of what the challenges are in the communities where their employees live and work. The communities themselves, they are employers too. Think about county governments, and school districts, and municipalities, and even the healthcare systems, they have employees too, and they know how best to drive change in their local markets.

It's really important to get all the stakeholders around the table, assess the current situation in a community and look at how a new initiative could be implemented.