In order to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes, CVS Health launches a platform to address social determinants of health.
CVS Health and Aetna health insurance unit will collaborate to form a social care coordination platform known as “Unite Us” as part of upcoming series of initiatives the healthcare giant is rolling out to look after social determinants of health.
Insurers have already been paying for a wide range of services from food and nutrition to housing to ensure patients get the right care at the right time and in the right place.
The health plans offered by Aetna and CVS have networks of physicians and hospitals; however, they do not have access to social providers such as community organizations like Unite Us has. The new platform will be part of the company’s $100 million “Building Healthier Communities” effort funded by CVS Health and Aetna Foundations.
President of Aetna and Vice-President of CVS Health Karen Lynch said, “Out of about 6,000 waking hours in a year, most people only spend a handful in a doctor’s office or hospital. You spend the vast majority of your time in your community.”
Co-Founder and President of Unite Us Taylor Justice said, “Our mission is to connect individuals and families across the United States to the services they need through collaboration with local service providers, shared infrastructure, and an inclusive approach for those in need.”
He added, “Working with CVS Health, we will foster a community of care and a local support system to empower community members to make the most of the services available to them.”
Aetna and CVS have also been working to address social determinants of health by going forward for commercially insured and employer populations.
Dr. Garth Graham, vice president of community health & impact at CVS Health and president of the Aetna Foundation, said, “Research has shown that providing safe and secure housing options can help improve health outcomes, particularly for individuals with chronic health conditions. “Our continued investment in affordable housing and ongoing collaboration with community groups can support those individuals that need it the most and help improve their health and well-being,” added Dr. Graham.