As part of CVS Health’s first initiative with Aetna, this platform and other programs tackle social determinants of health using community health and workplace supports.
CVS Health has announced new efforts to address social determinants of health in key areas, including within the community, workplace, and housing.
CVS Health has partnered with Unite Us to confront gaps in members’ awareness of community social services.
“We want to form partnerships with community-based organizations in a way that improves health person by person and elevates the entire wellbeing of a community,” Garth Graham, MD, president at Aetna Foundation, vice president, community health & impact at CVS Health, told HealthPayerIntelligence.com in a written statement.
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“We understand that we need to support individuals in identifying and accessing resources available to them in their communities – this is part of our promise to be local and to create simple solutions to improve people’s health.”
Building on CVS Health’s “Building Healthier Communities” initiative, which the company kicked off earlier this year, the new social care coordination platform serves Medicaid and dual eligible Aetna communities.
For the pilot program of this platform, each community will have a social services network tailored to their social services gaps based on a population health and community health needs assessment.
Aetna case managers will identify Aetna Medicaid and dual eligible members with needs related to social determinants of health, such as job training, housing, food, and transportation and will connect them with the appropriate local social services provider, Graham explained.
When a member is referred to a nurse case manager or community health provider through Aetna, the technology sends information to the provider.
The technology and services will be available to Aetna Medicaid members in Louisville, Kentucky and Aetna dual-eligible special needs plan members in Tampa, Florida and southeastern Louisiana in late 2019.
“This initiative is all about impact,” Graham said. “Through our CVS retail locations, we are part of nearly 10,000 communities across the country, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to improve the health of individuals and communities on a broad scale. We realize there is a strong connection between building healthier communities and healthier businesses, by launching Destination: Health we can create a virtuous cycle and do well by doing the right thing.”
Moving forward, Unite Us and CVS Health are investigating how to further incorporate CVS Health retail assets into these functions.
CVS Health also created a tool to help employers make the connection between social determinants of health and their workers’ health costs and productivity.
The new analytics tool looks at employees’ social determinants and quantifies the impact they will have on the employers’ health plan costs.
The first version of the tool with limited functions will be released in July and CVS Health plans to release the tool with full capacity in early 2020.
The technology is useful not only for employers, but also for CVS Health. The company will employ it to better target their interventions.
Lastly, CVS Health will invest over $40 million for 1,600 affordable housing units in 19 communities in six states. The company’s investment will also 100 permanent supportive housing units for individuals who are homeless or at risk, HIV/AIDS positive, experience substance abuse disorders, have long-term chronic conditions, or need mental health care.
“Our goal is to make investments in properties that offer safe, clean and affordable housing to a wide variety of tenants along with appropriate social programs and services to improve overall health outcomes,” Graham explained.
The companies are also developing programs with local services that cover topics such as independent living skills, cooking and nutrition, and financial literacy.
CVS Health and Aetna’s investments will total over $50 million by the end of 2019.
These projects mark the first actions that CVS Health and Aetna are taking together as one company.
Since their merger hit a roadblock in the District Court in June, the contract’s survival was dubious. The District Court’s hearing was on July 17 and now the companies await the verdict. In the meantime, they have been functioning as if they have received approval and now hope to use their multiplied resources to help their combined communities.
“Both CVS Health and Aetna have a long track record of tackling social determinants of health,” said Graham. “Since it was founded in 2006, CVS Health’s Project Health has delivered chronic health screenings to millions in communities across the country. And, of course, through Aetna’s community investments and Medicaid programs have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals, families, and seniors. By strengthening our local support and community engagement, we can further improve the health of our communities.”
Date: August 01, 2019
Source: Health Payer Intelligence