Twentyeight Health will join Healthify's SDoH network to provide low- and no-cost birth control to people in need
What happens when you integrate social determinants of Health (SDoH) into the healthcare ecosystem and then pair payers and providers with organizations working to eliminate barriers to care? Here's how Healthify's latest partnership with Twentyeight Health helps us move the needle on important aspects of SDoH.
Access-to-care challenges: contraceptive deserts, high-cost prescriptions
It's estimated that 19 million women of reproductive age in the U.S. are in need of affordable contraception and live in "contraceptive deserts"—areas in which health centers that offer a full range of contraceptive solutions aren't accessible. And for nearly 1.5 million of them, there isn't a single health center offering the full range of contraceptives in their entire county, which is a huge barrier to access.
Beyond physical proximity to health centers, costs can be another critical factor. Studies and surveys have shown, for example, that considerations around out-of-pocket expenditure can have a determining influence on the contraceptive methods that women choose and use. One-third of women would likely switch methods if they didn't have to worry about costs.
That's where Twentyeight Health comes in and how the company's mission fundamentally augments our own.
Twentyeight Health provides an affordable telemedicine solution for women's sexual and reproductive care— birth control pills, patches, rings, shots, and emergency contraception (Plan B or equivalent) prescriptions, together with at-home delivery options—to address the twin scourges of contraceptive deserts and high-cost prescription drugs.
What's more, Twentyeight Health also ensures that those contraceptive methods are available at a low cost or covered by insurance, including Medicaid.
Escalating access-to-care challenges from COVID-19
How is COVID-19 exacerbating existing healthcare challenges, particularly regarding access to care, and to what extent?
Take the results of one recent survey, for example, which found that more than one in three primary care clinicians expects to see increases in the number of non-COVID-19-related deaths, simply due to delayed or lack of access to care. The picture is even worse globally: One recent report warned of unsafe abortions increasing by as many as 3.3 million due to accessibility issues caused by the pandemic.
All of that underscores the impact COVID-19 is having on women's overall health. "Many women in vulnerable communities are in need of prescription delivery or virtual healthcare services due to COVID-19," observed Amy Fan, cofounder of Twentyeight Health.
That's where Healthify enters the picture.
By partnering with Twentyeight Health, we knew we could help the company scale, break down barriers to access, and connect with patients everywhere, which are priorities that critically align with our mission to understand and address SDoH.
This new partnership will allow health plans and providers to refer individuals to Twentyeight Health from within the Healthify platform. By teaming up and working together, our hope is that these organizations can sweep aside some of the longstanding obstacles that underserved women have faced when seeking access to reproductive and sexual health services.
It's a small but important step toward a future in which sky-high prescription costs and contraceptive deserts are indeed things of the past.
"By working with Healthify," Fan said, "we can strengthen our efforts to ensure that all women who want birth control are able to access it."
Working together to address SDoH
Partnerships like these are a powerful way for us to make progress on our mission at Healthify, too.
"We work closely with health plans, providers, and community service organizations to address social health inequalities through whole-person care," explained Manik Bhat, founder and chief executive officer of Healthify. "We are proud to partner with an organization that has such an inspiring mission which aligns with our own: to build a world where no one's health is hindered by their need. Together, we can expand Twentyeight Health's impact by offering their services to help individuals receive the low- or no-cost birth control that is right for them."
To learn more about our work with Twentyeight Health, see the full press release here.