The Cost of Public Health Practice: Using PBRNs to Identify Delivery, Quality and Cost of Core Public Health Services in Ohio

Year: 2013
Funding: Delivery and Cost Studies (DACS)
Status: Underway

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The Ohio Public Health Futures Report, one of several efforts in the state related to the delivery and cost of public health services, establishes a framework for understanding local health departments' core services and foundational capabilities; however, report recommendations are limited by the lack of available evidence for understanding how financial and human resources are transformed into programs, services, and policies to protect and promote health.  With leadership from Case Western Reserve University, the Ohio Public Health Practice-Based Research Network is addressing this gap by developing and implementing standard methods to support data-driven, rational decision making about the variation, value, and equity of the delivery and cost of core public health services and foundational capabilities among Ohio Local Health Departments (LHDs). This work seeks to: 1) estimate and validate the cost per unit of service for Core Public Health Services for Ohio LHDs; 2) investigate the influence of organizational and community factors on the cost of public health service delivery in Ohio LHDs; and 3) ascertain how variation in the cost of Core Public Health Services among Ohio LHDs relates to equity in resource allocation and public health outcomes. Findings will provide evidence for LHD budget development, as well as measurement and analysis tools for both practitioners and researchers


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Scott Frank, M.D., M.S.