GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Priority Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today that it has launched a first-of-its-kind “full lifecycle” social determinants of health (SDoH) initiative. Recent research has shown that SDoH, or social factors like access to healthy food, transportation options and financial security, may be responsible for up to 80% of health outcomes1. Priority Health’s program will enable the insurer to proactively identify social risk among its members, initiate culturally-resonant engagement, connect people with critical resources to address their needs, and repeatably measure the impact to refine future programs. Priority Health has partnered with industry leaders Socially Determined, ConsejoSano and Aunt Bertha to create this data-driven, full lifecycle approach for addressing SDoH and improving health outcomes.
Understanding social risk is the first step to launching this comprehensive approach. This enables Priority Health to pinpoint where the biggest needs are so it can direct resources towards the most impactful programs across its membership. This fundamental step also helps in identifying individuals in need of targeted intervention, regardless of whether they have had a recent touchpoint with Priority Health, a health care provider, or other social service. To gain this visibility, Priority Health has partnered with Socially Determined, a market-leading technology company that provides social risk intelligence to organizations seeking to understand the impact social risk has on their populations and communities. This information enables organizations like Priority Health to create more impactful, sustainable and measurable programs that drive better health outcomes and business performance.
“When looking at social determinants of health or how to address health inequities, it is important to understand that every individual’s life experiences and needs are different. Having access to information that clearly shows which social factors are most critical for our members allows us to take that next step and connect the member with the right resource,” said Praveen Thadani, President of Priority Health. “Through this new, full lifecycle program, we can better serve and engage with our members when it matters most.”
As a next step in the program, Priority Health’s partnership with ConsejoSano will help transform the insights from Socially Determined into actionable outreach to members. ConsejoSano is an engagement solution that provides culturally and linguistically aligned outreach to traditionally underserved communities. Their team will work directly with new Priority Health members to perform SDoH screenings and make direct referrals to Priority Health’s internal care management team. This will create a more seamless member experience and will allow for care managers to immediately begin addressing needs.
In addition to personalized member referrals and care intervention from care managers and community health workers, Priority Health will also work with and encourage members to utilize Priority Health Connect. This online platform, powered by Aunt Bertha, is designed to connect individuals in the community with free and reduced-cost programs and critical social services. This allows members to instantly search for the resources that they need within their zip code, including services like housing support, legal assistance, access to healthy foods, and childcare.
A final, yet key component to Priority Health’s novel SDoH program is its ability to objectively measure outcomes. This allows Priority Health to understand the impact of its social programs to refine and improve future initiatives. Many organizations focused on SDoH struggle to understand the impact of their programs, or implement manual and inconsistent practices to measure them. Priority Health’s partnership with Socially Determined will allow the insurer to measure impact in a standardized and repeatable way to iterate and apply new insights back into the lifecycle. This will help drive decisions around future community investments and social services collaboration.
“These industry partnerships allow us to create a new, proactive approach to addressing unique member needs,” said Shannon Wilson, Vice President of State Markets, East at Priority Health. “By relying on data to better understand our community, we can make more informed decisions to drive direct connection with members and implement new programs or community investments that will have meaningful impact. The important role of social determinants is coming into focus and there are many noble initiatives aiming to address them. But taking a purposeful, data-driven approach to implementing the right programs in the right place, and then measuring their impact, takes addressing SDoH to the next level. And that’s what this program does.”
For more information on Priority Health’s efforts to address SDoH, visit www.priorityhealth.com/sdoh.
About Priority Health:
With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering a broad portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than a million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. To learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health visit www.priorityhealth.com.
1. National Academy of Medicine (2017, October 9). Social Determinants of Health 101 for Health Care: Five Plus Five. https://nam.edu/social-determinants-of-health-101-for-health-care-five-plus-five/