The first hospital association to invest in a statewide social determinants of health technology platform, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) has joined a growing list of organizations, including Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain Healthcare, working with a company called Unite Us.
The CHA plans to build a statewide coordinated care network of health and social services providers, and the technology platform will connect patients to local social service agencies that help with housing, food, transportation, employment, and more.
“With the Unite Us technology platform, Connecticut’s hospitals and health systems, in collaboration with community-based organizations, will be better equipped to address patients’ needs from a holistic standpoint,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO of the CHA, in a statement.
Connecticut hospitals and health systems and community-based organizations will be able to send and receive secure referrals to connect individuals to an array of services to address their social needs. Regional implementation of the network is under way, including working with local community-based organizations and hospitals. This work will include developing a resource database that leverages the existing 211 Connecticut, a program of the United Way of Connecticut, as part of a statewide network connecting community-based organizations to each hospital.
In May 2019 Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nonprofit, integrated health system, announced it was partnering with Unite Us to connect healthcare and social services providers to address the pressing social needs including housing, food, safety, utilities and more for millions of people across the United States.
Recent data indicates that in certain regions, up to 29 percent of Kaiser Permanente's members that have the greatest medical challenges are dealing with food insecurity, and as many as 23 percent have concerns about housing stability – critical issues that are among the types of challenges that Thrive Local will seek to address.
A recent Healthcare Innovation Tech Trend story examined the new breed of software platform being developed to bridge previously unconnected caregivers in social determinant work.