Payers are investing in social determinants of health and health equity for members and communities.
Here are six recent initiatives to improve health equity Becker's has reported since July:
- UnitedHealth Group is putting $10 million toward community development initiatives in Appalachian counties across six states. The company is a lead investor in the first round of the Invest Appalachia Fund, a regional initiative aimed at increasing funding around social determinants, including affordable housing, clean energy, community revitalization, food and agriculture.
- CareFirst BCBS and Live Chair Health are partnering on healthcare access for Medicaid members, focusing particularly on closing social-determinants-of-health gaps in Baltimore and other parts of Maryland. The new pilot program will function to provide Medicaid members an additional healthcare access point by helping to explain benefits, choose physicians and schedule appointments.
- BCBS Massachusetts created a financial payment model that rewards health systems and physicians for eliminating racial and ethnic inequalities to care. Four of the state's health systems have signed the value-based payment contracts, as of Dec. 15.
- The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association added new health-equity focused standards to its Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care designations. More than 1,000 hospitals currently have the designation, as of Dec. 14.
- Elevance Health partnered with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health to continue investing in company cultures that embeds health equity at every level. Darrell Gray II, MD, the inaugural chief health equity officer at Elevance Health, discussed the initiative with Becker's.
- The Association for Community Affiliated Plans launched a new center aimed at offering resources to payers and policymakers that will support initiatives around social determinants of health and reductions in health disparities. The new center will draw on the knowledge and resources of the association's 74 nonprofit members that collectively serve 22 million beneficiaries nationwide. Spring Street Exchange will administer the center.