Five Steps to Design a Community Health Worker Program

Tools for planning and implementing a sustainable and effective program

Organizations in value-based contracts, particularly those taking on Medicaid risk, have a mandate to reduce acute care utilization for high- and rising-risk patients—or face financial penalties. However, at-risk patients with multiple complex clinical and social needs can be difficult to manage at scale given the limited budgets of population health departments.

A community health worker (CHW) program is one sustainable approach to supporting complex patients. As defined by the CEO of City Health Works, Manmeet Kaur, a “‘community health worker’ is an umbrella term that means one thing: a non-clinical person hired from the community that they serve.” These lower-cost staff, often salaried by a provider organization, address social needs and support disease self-management. CHW programs offer substantial return on investment (ROI) when implemented effectively.

This toolkit outlines five steps for implementing a sustainable CHW program: Determine program scope, secure funding, source talent, create a retention plan, and demonstrate long-term performance. Each step is supported by sample resources including ready-to-use slides, recruiting guidelines, day-in-the-life summary, and sample performance dashboards.

Log in to access this.

Full access to this content is reserved for Population Health Advisor members.
Log in or learn how membership works.

Next, Check Out

Ready-to-use slides: Making the case for a community health worker program

Learn More