This article summarizes a new methodology recently developed by the Rand Corporation which permits health planners to assess the impact of the local health care system on the health status of the population. The methodology, in algorithm form, should assist health planners in developing objectives and actions related to the occurrence of selected health status indicators and should be amenable to health care interventions. Emphasis has been placed on developing a simplified, approximate analysis that health planners will find both feasible and effective. No detailed mathematic analyses are called for. The data required are, in most instances, readily obtainable. The algorithm is a methodology by which HSAs can investigate determinants of health status, identify breakdowns in the health care system, and specify needed improvements in the system. The goal of these algorithms is to assist HSAs to obtain valid and sufficiently detailed data that will provide a basis for monitoring breakdowns in the health care system and to improve planning decisions aimed at preventing such breakdowns. This should, in turn, affect population health status in the planning area.