Rhode Island is changing the way it delivers and pays for healthcare. In Rhode Island, healthcare doesn't stop at the doctor's office or the hospital bed—It extends to where people live, work, play, and learn. It rewards quality outcomes rather than quantity—the number of patient visits. This approach to care is data-driven and evidence-based—tracking patient populations to identify risks and measure results. To achieve its goals, Rhode Island has mounted a number of initiatives to change healthcare payment policies and service delivery.
None of these changes in healthcare are possible without a transformed workforce—with the right workers, with the right skills and tools, in the right place at the right time. To determine what this workforce looks like and how to prepare for it, the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the State Innovation Model Test Grant, convened a cross-section of stakeholders from the state's healthcare providers, education and training organizations, and policymakers in health and workforce. This group—the Rhode Island Healthcare Workforce Transformation Committee—gathered to establish workforce priorities and weigh potential strategies. Topics analyzed included primary care, behavioral health practice and integration, social determinants of health, health information technology, oral health, chronic disease, and home and community-based care. This report, prepared by Jobs for the Future (JFF), provides background research to support Rhode Island's development of a healthcare workforce transformation strategy. To determine workforce needs in a changing healthcare environment, this study asks not just how many new workers are needed in particular occupations, but how to renew the skills of the existing workforce to assume new and evolving healthcare roles in new settings.