Troy, N.Y. (September 15, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health has announced the nine finalists of the Social Determinants of Health ‘Call for Innovations’ Initiative. The solicitation for innovations, a first of its kind in New York State, attracted over 200 applicants from across the country, all of whom have come up with creative and effective ways to address social determinants of health for Medicaid members. Among the nine finalists, Alliance for Better Health, in partnership with Unite Us, have been selected for their Healthy Together Network connecting mainstream health providers with social service agencies and Community-Based Organizations directly addressing social determinants of health.
Addressing social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people are born, live, grow, work, and age, has a significant impact on health outcomes and costs less than medical interventions. The ‘Call for Innovations’ provided an opportunity for companies and organizations to highlight how they can improve the lives of Medicaid members through cost-effective and innovative solutions.
The Healthy Together Network, powered by Unite Us, allows Alliance’s clinical partners throughout Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties to connect in real-time with social service providers such as homeless shelters, benefit navigators, workforce development agencies, behavioral health providers, and food pantries. It also allows all agencies to electronically refer between each other and close the loop on every intervention while enabling all organizations to work together around every patient as one community care team to ensure the client’s needs have been addressed and met.
All Healthy Together partners across the network are centrally connected to one another, with the ability to:
Electronically connect patients to both clinical and social service providers.
Track patient progress and receive automated feedback from partners to ensure care and services are received.
Collaborate with community-wide “care teams” ensuring providers are on the same page regarding their shared patients’ progress.
Collect data including structured patient outcomes to measure the network’s impact, including time to service and effectiveness of care.
“The Healthy Together network is the thread for the tapestry of services that the community-based organizations in our region offer. Together, this community is working to improve the health of those who are most vulnerable," said Dr. Jacob Reider, CEO of Alliance for Better Health. "We are so proud that the hard work of our teams has been recognized as an outstanding innovation by the New York State Department of Health.”
Currently, the Healthy Together Network has over 60 organizations with referrals flowing daily. New organizations are being onboarded and supported each week with the ultimate goal of having all agencies and health providers using the network.
“NYS has been leading the way with its Medicaid redesign programs and innovations,” said Dan Brillman, CEO of Unite Us. “Unite Us is proud to be selected by the state for our innovative work with the Healthy Together Network, led by amazing leaders at Alliance for Better Health”
The nine finalists will be invited to present their solutions to a group of distinguished panelists and an audience of over 600 people on September 26, 2018, at a Social Determinants of Health Innovation Summit hosted by the Department. While finalists will not receive funding or monetary awards from the State, it is an opportunity for organizations to hear and share best practices in the field.
Alliance for Better Health engages medical and social service providers in developing innovative solutions to promote the health of people and communities, with a goal of transforming the care delivery system into one that incentivizes health and prevention. Established in 2015 as a Performing Provider System in the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program (DSRIP), Alliance partners with more than 2,000 providers and organizations across a six-county area in New York’s Tech Valley and Capital Region.
Unite Us is an outcome-focused technology company that builds coordinated care networks connecting health and social service providers together. The company helps systems and communities efficiently deliver care and services by inter-connecting providers around every patient, seamlessly integrating the social determinants of health into patient care. Providers across the continuum can make external referrals and track every patient’s total health journey while reporting on all tangible outcomes across a full range of services in a centralized, cohesive, and collaborative ecosystem. This social infrastructure helps communities move beyond fragmented legacy resource directories and transform their ability to measure impact, improve health and track outcomes at scale.
DSRIP is the main mechanism by which New York State will implement the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Waiver Amendment. DSRIP´s purpose is to fundamentally restructure the health care delivery system by reinvesting in the Medicaid program, with the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital use by 25% over 5 years. Up to $6.42 billion dollars are allocated to this program with payouts based upon achieving predefined results in system transformation, clinical management, and population health.