To measure strategies of interorganizational collaboration among health care and social service organizations that serve older adults.
Twenty Hospital Service Areas (HSAs) in the United States.
We developed and validated a novel scale to characterize interorganizational collaboration, and then tested its application by assessing whether the scale differentiated between HSAs with high vs low performance on potentially avoidable health care use and spending for Medicare beneficiaries.
Health care and social service organizations (N = 173 total) in each HSA completed a 12‐item collaboration scale, three questions about collaboration behaviors, and a detailed survey documenting collaborative network ties.
We identified two distinguishable subscales of interorganizational collaboration: (a) Aligning Strategy and (b) Coordinating Current Work. Each subscale demonstrated convergent validity with the organization's position in the collaborative network, and with collaboration behaviors. The full scale and Coordinating Current Work subscale did not differentiate high‐ vs low‐performing HSAs, but the Aligning Strategy subscale was significantly higher in high‐performing HSAs than in low‐performing HSAs ( = .01).
Cross‐sector collaboration—and particularly Aligning Strategy—is associated with health care use and spending for older adults. This new survey measure could be used to track the impact of interventions to foster interorganizational collaboration.