Posts for Latest Happenings
Health plans that contract with state Medicaid programs are moving to address social determinants of health by paying for affordable housing, food vouchers to purchase fresh vegetables and education screenings at the doctor’s office.
But challenges remain from inadequate funding to the lack of data sharing between medical care providers, insurers and community organizations, a new report from the nonprofit The Institute for Medicaid Innovation shows.
“Despite the increasing focus shown in our report on the role of social determinants on health care and outcomes, more needs to be done to create systems to address unmet social needs, especially finding sustainable funding to support these programs,” The Institute for Medicaid Innovation’s executive director, Jennifer Moore, said in a statement accompanying the report called “Innovation and Opportunities to Address Social Determinants of Health in Medicaid Managed Care.”
The report comes as medical providers, insurers and policymakers including high-ranking officials in the Trump administration increasingly see the need to address social determinants of health as a way to improve healthcare and reduce costs. Supporters of spending on ways to address social determinants reason “non-medical factors” of patients like their “housing, education, food insecurity, and poverty can adversely affect population health,” the report says.
There are more than 70 million Americans covered by Medicaid thanks in part to the expansion of such benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 70% of these Medicaid beneficiaries have their care managed by health plans operated by dozens of health plans including Aetna, Anthem, Centene, Cigna, Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group and most Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
There are many emerging success stories. And here are some outlined in the report such as:
- AmeriHealth Caritas DC’s “food as medicine” initiative. The Medicaid health plan has a partnership “with several community-based organizations to improve access to nutritious meals,” the Institute’s report says. “The approach includes vouchers to community farmer’s markets, as well as meal delivery to address client-specific chronic conditions such as pre-diabetes, diabetes, or hypertension.”
- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services requires Medicaid health plans in contracts with the state to “to adopt standardized social needs screening beginning in mid-2019 as part of their care management strategies.” The information is then shared with the Medicaid health plan enrollee’s primary care providers.
- Upper Peninsula Health Plan’s “Connected Communities for Health” initiative which works to address enrollees social determinants of health by working with community, state, faith-based and other organizations to meet patient needs. “Members are screened by customer service representatives for needs in the areas of adult education, childcare, commodities (e.g. household goods/furniture, baby supplies, clothing), employment, finance, food, housing, legal services, transportation, and utility assistance,” the report says.
Do you have Diabetes or care for someone living with Diabetes? Whether Diabetes is new to you or you’ve had it for a while, this program helps you make positive changes and improves life! The workshop is free to attend.
Pioneer Bluff Apartments- Ishpeming
Tuesdays, February 5th – March 12th
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Register today by calling UPCAP at 1.800.338.7227 or dial 2-1-1.
Get answers to your Medicare questions! UPHP is providing free educational sessions throughout the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The Medicare AEP ends December 7th.
A medicare specialist will be available to help answer questions from 9:00 A.M to 12:00 P.M. at the following locations:
Peninsula Medical Center in Marquette:
- December 4th
Snyder Drug Store in Newberry:
- November 21st
- December 5th
UP Health System – Portage in Hancock:
- November 26th
- December 3rd
For accommodations of persons with special needs at meetings call 1-877-349-9324 TTY: 711.
The Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures campaign ran from July 1st through August 31st. The purpose of the campaign was to help keep children healthy by promoting well child visits. A well child visit is instrumental in the early detection of problems that could impact a child’s future.
After reviewing the focus population lists for UPHG and UPHP separately, populations were divided into two categories: Family Practice and Pediatrics (only). The winners are as follows:
- UPHG BCBSM Family Practice Winner: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC)
- UPHG BCBSM Pediatrics (only) Winner: Upper Great Lakes (UGL) Hancock Pediatrics
- UPHP Medicaid Family Practice Winner: Helen Newberry Joy (HNJ) Gibson Family Health Center
- UPHP Medicaid Pediatrics (only) Winner: Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) Pediatrics
Winning practices received their gifts last week. The gifts are meant to be utilized as a way to celebrate staff and provider efforts in promoting and rendering well child check-ups to the children in the U.P!
Pictured below is one of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures raffle winners, Brady. He is 11 years old and was very excited about his winnings from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures participant raffle. He was entered into the raffle by completing his annual well child visit. Congrats, Brady!