While it has long been established that social factors, such as housing, transportation, and income, influence health and health care outcomes, over the last decade, attention to this topic has grown dramatically. Reforms that promote high-quality care as well as responsibility for total cost of care have shifted focus among health care providers toward upstream determinants of health care outcomes. As a result, there has been a proliferation of activity focused on integrating and aligning social and medical care, many of which depend critically on cross-sector alliances. Despite considerable activity in this area, cross-sector alliances in health care remain largely undertheorized. Both literatures stand to gain from more attention to carefully knitting together the theoretical and management literature on alliances with the empirical, health policy and health services literature on cross-sector alliances in health care. In this chapter, we lay out what exists in the current scientific literature as well as a framework for considering much needed work in this area. We organize the literature and our commentary around the lifecycle of alliances: alliance formation, including factors prompting alliance formation, partner selection, and alliance goals; alliance maturity, including the work of these cross-sector alliances, governance, finance and contracts, staffing structure, and rewards; and critical crossroads, including alliance timelines, definitions of success, and dissolution. We also lay out critical areas for future inquiry, including better theorizing on cross-sector alliances, developing typologies of these cross-sector health care alliances, and the role of policy in cross-sector alliances.
- community-based organizations
- health care management
- social determinants of health
- social risks
- Strategic alliances
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy