Insights

Closing the Health Equity Gap

Reducing health disparities between low-income and affluent communities

In the last few years, the phrase “your zip code matters more than your genetic code” has floated around the healthcare industry and with sound reasoning too. In cities across the U.S., the average life expectancy is 15-20 years shorter in low-income communities than those in more affluent communities. Rates of preventable, chronic diseases are rising sharply in low-income neighborhoods and health gaps between low-income and affluent communities continue widen. These disparities in health are founded on a complex interplay of racial, economic, educational, and other social factors. But by partnering with community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health, health plans and health systems can dramatically improve health outcomes in their communities.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Resources community-centered

Introducing Healthify’s New Core Values!

How our new core values reflect who we are and how we got there

At Healthify, we're building a world where no one's health is hindered by their need. That is our mission, and it's one of the pillars of who we are as an organization. The other pillar that supports our mission is our core values. When our People Operations team at Healthify came into existence in 2017, the company had only 2 core values:

Topics: employment Recruiting

Healthify’s Platform Achieves HITRUST CSF Certification

Certification validates Healthify’s commitment to protecting sensitive healthcare information

Healthify is excited and proud to announce that our platform is officially HITRUST CSF certified. The HITRUST CSF certification is the most widely recognized security accreditation in the healthcare industry.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health SDoH technology

Understanding the Challenges of Coordinating Care Around Social Needs

Challenges healthcare organizations must face to develop strategies to achieve success in a value-based world.

In recent years, we have seen significant shifts in the way we manage health in the U.S. As reimbursement models transition away from fee-for-service to value-based, there has been an increased focus on innovative models of care that integrate non-medical health factors such as food, housing, and transportation. These factors are often referred to as the social determinants of health (SDoH) and can account for up to 60% of our health. According to a 2017 report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 88% of hospitals are now screening for social needs. Also, the most recent Change Healthcare Annual Industry Pulse Report reveals that more than 80% of payers are already taking steps to promote value-based healthcare by addressing the social needs of their members.

Topics: Webinar care coordination Social needs

Applying Learnings from Social Workers in SDoH Technology Solutions

Two New Enhancements to the Healthify Platform

As the U.S. healthcare industry continues maturing value-based care models, the social determinants of health (SDoH) is becoming a major focus for top healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations and community partners are beginning to develop frameworks and workflows that effectively address unmet social needs. According to a recent survey completed by Change Healthcare and the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG), more than 80% of health insurers are working to address the Social Determinants of Health in their member programs.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Social Work SDoH technology

The Effects of Housing Insecurity on Health Outcomes and Costs

Can supportive housing programs help lower costs and improve health outcomes?

Over the past 15 years, research has revealed a consistent link between housing and health. A lack of stable, affordable and adequate housing can have severe implications for a patient’s health. Substandard living conditions influence many of the most serious chronic health problems. Housing that is safe, clean and adequately maintained can reduce the likelihood of adverse health outcomes by decreasing the probability of preventable conditions like injuries, neurotoxicity or asthma and it can also reduce the costs associated with care.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Homeless Health Spending

Using Social Determinants of Health Data to Decrease Healthcare Expenditures

How identifying and addressing the social determinants of health can reduce rising healthcare expenditures and improve quality of care for at-risk populations

Over the last 50 years, health expenditure growth has more than doubled and continues to rise rapidly, while rates of chronic diseases continue to increase. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending is projected to rise by 5.5% this year and will continue to rise over the next decade. The rise marks a sharp increase from last year’s spending, which is estimated to have been around 4.6%, almost $3.5 trillion. The increase in healthcare expenditures can be attributed to several factors including rising costs associated with medical goods and services, shifts in income growth, Medicaid and Medicare.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Population Health Vulnerable populations

The Implications of Fragmentation in Care

Minimizing the Dangers and Costs of Fragmentation In Care with Coordinated Care Models

Patient Story: Mrs. F

Mrs. F is a 60-year-old woman with diabetes and severe osteoporosis. She spends most of her time bedridden, uses a walking frame to walk, and has moderate memory problems. Her PCP prescribes her multiple medications but she also sees several specialists who are not affiliated with her PCP.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health care coordination Social needs

The Effects of Food Insecurity on Health Outcomes and Costs

Over the last 25 years, research has shown that social determinants of health have powerful effects on health outcomes, particularly food insecurity. Those who are food-insecure lack access to affordable and healthy foods, which has adverse effects on health and development. Maintaining a healthy diet becomes a subsidiary concern when there are multiple unmet social needs to address but social service programs offered by community partners can help address those unmet needs.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Based Organizations food insecurity

Positioning Social Service Providers as Leaders in the Future of Health

Compared to other wealthy countries, the United States has some unusual healthcare spending habits. Other developed nations like Germany, France, and the UK spend nearly twice as much on social services as they do on healthcare but in the United States, we spend almost twice as much on healthcare as we do on social services. However, there’s a growing consensus that social and behavioral factors determine over 60% of health outcomes and are better understood as intersectional health issues. There’s also significant evidence that shows that higher spending on social services addresses health outcomes more effectively than investing in healthcare alone. It’s clear that our priorities are misplaced.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Based Organizations care coordination