Target Audience

This activity is appropriate for physicians in all specialties.  Content may also be valuable to practice managers, consultants, or other professionals with an interest in trending issues related to U.S. health care.

Goals and Objectives

Across the US, substantial geographic differences persist in key indicators of health system performance. The wide gaps provide evidence of the potential to improve as well as targets. During this activity, state and local data from multiple sources will be presented and will document striking differences in access to care, quality and health outcomes with a focus on opportunities to take systemic action.

Using selected health system indicators that compare state and local areas, the presentation highlights initiatives that include patient-centered and population-health-focused innovations and insurance expansions. The activity profiles policies that seek to foster such innovations and includes examples of care systems that are implementing patient centered medical homes, supportive care teams to improve care for chronically ill patients, and developing healthcare systems that are more accountable for delivering better care and outcomes at lower costs.

The overall focus of this activity will be on the potential to achieve better population health at more affordable costs, while providing better, safer care that is responsive to patients, families and communities. Upon completion of the activity, learners should be better prepared to:

  • Assess potential areas for targeted efforts to improve at the state-wide or local level. This includes evaluation of substantial gains that could be achieved by raising health system performance to benchmarks set by leading states or local areas within states.
  • Take a strategic “systems” view of potential federal initiatives or state and private-sponsored initiatives that may offer resources to support physicians’ and care systems’ efforts to innovate.
  • Look out for examples to learn from multiple efforts underway at the community level that involve physician practices and hospitals, including payment reform.
  • Take action drawing on diverse examples of delivery system innovations and strategies with the potential for short- and longer-term gain in health system performance and population health in local communities and care systems.

Course Information

CME Release Date: April 22, 2019
Valid for credit through: April 22, 2020
Course type:  Video lecture

Credits Available 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Southern Medical Association and Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.  The Southern Medical Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Southern Medical Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Healthcare Professionals

For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.  All healthcare professionals who are not MDs or DOs will receive a certificate of participation.

Instructions for Participation and Credit

To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period noted, following these steps:

  • Read the goals and objectives, accreditation information, and author disclosures.
  • View the educational video of the lecture.
  • Study the educational references.
  • Online, choose the best answer to each test question. Learners must receive a passing score of 80%.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and outcomes.

Upon successful completion of the test, evaluation and attestation, your certificate will be processed and emailed from [email protected] within approximately 1 hour. Credits will be archived for 6 years; at any point within this time period you may login to your account to print a duplicate copy of your certificate.

Click the Disclosure Tab above for Faculty Information

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

As an organization accredited by the ACCME, Southern Medical Association requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines "relevant financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount, occurring within the past 12 months, including financial relationships of a spouse or life partner that could create a conflict of interest.

Southern Medical Association encourages Speakers/Authors to identify investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, at first mention and where appropriate in the content.

Cathy Schoen is an economic and senior scholar at the New York Academy of Medicine. Her research includes analysis and policy development to address health care costs, access and health system performance, with attention to populations vulnerable due to income, age or health status. From 2014 through 2016, she was the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Fund Council of Economic Advisors and Health Cost Initiative with a focus on sustaining slow growth in health care spending while improving access, quality of care and health outcomes. Until she retired in July 2014 she was senior vice president of The Commonwealth Fund for Policy and Research, where she was on the executive management team.


The following individuals have stated that they have no relevant financial relationships occurring within the past 12 months to disclose.

Cathy Schoen

Dianne B. Love, PhD
Waldon Garriss, III, MD, MACP

Jennifer Price, MA

Course Materials


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