An Evite to Better Health

ViVE Conference Session Summary

This article is part of an extended series summarizing discussions at recent healthcare conferences about improving health equity through technology. This session summary contains details on the ViVE 2022 Conference. You can read our conference overview and find links to all articles here.

Learn more about StartingUpGood’s Health + Equity + Tech Project.

An Evite to Better Health

Description

Are you waiting for a knock at your digital front door? These care enablers are proactively reaching out with a digital invitation to better health for those who are often left out in the cold. They’ll share stats from programs for high-risk patients and discuss the ways they’re applying insights to improve impact or extend outreach to new populations.

Speakers

  • Tarun Kapoor, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Transformation OfficeR, Virtua Health
  • Manav Sevak, Co-founder and CEO, Memora Health
  • Melissa Sherry, PhD, MPH, Vice President, Social Care Integration — Legal & Compliance, Unite Us
  • Royal Tuthill, General Manager, Ambulatory and Population Health, Get Well

Key Points

Developing Technology

  • This panel explored the importance of healthcare going to the patients with the help of technology, but with the type of technology that the patient wants to use. It’s not just about being accessible but proactive in reaching out.
  • Unite Us recognizes the importance of partnering with community-based organizations to help patients with the social determinants that prevent them from enjoying good health. But it’s not enough to refer patients to these community groups. These organizations need the resources to continue providing services. So Unite Us is building technology that enables community-based organizations to enter into paid arrangements with referring agencies, thus being reimbursed for their work.

Access to Healthcare

  • The healthcare industry was built around patients coming to doctors when they need care. It’s static, not proactive.
  • Memora Health provides low tech-touchpoints, such as text and email, to increase access to care at the time the person needs it. Memora is just one part of the puzzle. It is slightly tweaking the care model to better empower the care team.
  • New services have increased fragmentation, which makes it more difficult for customers and patients to navigate the system.
  • People are willing to use and communicate health via text. 97% of people use text every day. Studies show that people are more willing to text about health concerns than to ask in person.

Health Equity

  • We have a moral imperative to address health equity, and engaging the private sector to manage communities holistically will generate cost savings for companies and communities.
  • Virtua Health supports an integrated delivery network. For example, there’s a 14-year life expectancy difference between Cherry Hill and Camden, NJ. Clinicians can prescribe nutritious foods via a “food pharmacy’’ and there’s also a mobile grocery store via a converted NJ transit bus. These activities feel good, but how do we know they are doing good?
  • Medicaid is unique because its population innately has a lot of social needs. Policy changes are happening in states as we think differently about investing in social needs to change outcomes.
  • Physicians refer to the transition from hospital to home as the “black hole”. Patients might understand everything at the time of discharge, but they have so many other life things to do once they get home. The value of healthcare is also about helping with the social determinants of health.

The Importance of Building Trust

  • Get Well, which provides maternal health for women of color, increases health literacy with culturally appropriate and supportive language. They hire community workers from the local community to build trust with patients, so they can close the “last mile” of patient engagement.

Data

  • We need data to understand results and to prove that what we’re doing is working, so funders can invest more strategically.
  • Unite Us stakeholders are health plans, government, school systems, and health systems. All of these stakeholders know that social needs affect their “outcome of interest”.
  • We need to think about value and quality measures, such as healthy days and satisfaction measures.
  • ROI needs to consider the metrics that matter, looking holistically at the steps taken to intervene.
  • A lot of race data in EHRs is incorrect because it is not self-reported. We need thoughtful training for our registration staff to ensure we are working from complete and correct data.

Accountability / Role of Community-based Organizations

  • We should think about the whole community as a care team. Social care data needs to be longitudinal.
  • Community-based organizations were not in the audience for this panel, yet they are a major player in health equity.
  • Reimbursements are not in place to incentivize health systems to focus on social determinants of health.
  • Unite Us is trying to be a bridge between health systems and community organizations.

Staffing

  • Our healthcare works, but it doesn’t scale to the full population. It is human intensive and expensive. We need to transform the system to be more scalable. This will involve leveraging technology while still having human engagement. We have to flip the staffing model and change mindsets to include incremental follow up over time and light check-ins.
  • The impact of staffing shortages, married with trends of focusing on health equity, means we are asking healthcare staff to do more. We need more diverse and different levels of staffing.

You can read a summary of all our 2022 healthcare conference coverage here, or check out specific coverage of each conference:

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