Social Determinants, Pharma, Payers

Unite Us expands social determinants partnerships in Louisiana, West Virginia

The technology company is partnering with major insurers, including Aetna and Humana, as well as providers like Ochsner Health to expand access to its platform that connects patients to community-based social services.

Technology company Unite Us is partnering with several major payers and providers to expand access to its social determinants of health platform in Louisiana and West Virginia.

There is an abundance of research showing the ways in which the socioeconomic circumstances of a person’s life affects their health. Unite Us’ platform enables clinicians to screen patients for social factors like food insecurity or homelessness that may be negatively impacting their health. Clinicians can use the platform to make electronic referrals to community-based social services for their patients and track their progress. They can see whether their patients were able to get the help they needed, and if not, they are able to use the platform to suggest alternate resources.

In Louisiana and West Virginia, Unite Us has teamed up with Aetna to launch a social determinants of health initiative through CVS Pharmacy’s HealthTag program. The HealthTag program allows pharmacists to deliver personalized messages to patients when they come to pick up their prescriptions. The new social determinants initiative will enable pharmacists to identify patients who may benefit from social services support and connect them to the resources they need via Unite Us’ platform.

Unite Us and Aetna will analyze Aetna Medicaid’s claims data in the two states to identify patients in need. When those patients come to pick up their prescriptions at a CVS Pharmacy, pharmacists will be alerted so they can talk to the patients about enrolling in the Unite Us platform.

Once enrolled, Aetna care managers will follow up with them for additional support, R.J. Briscione, senior director, social determinants of health strategy and execution at Aetna, said in an email.

“We are looking to help our most vulnerable members with this program and our Medicaid population can really benefit from access to additional services to manage their needs,” he said. “Providing people who need help the most with local resources through a trusted person they see on a regular basis — such as their pharmacist — gives us a real opportunity to improve the health of individuals and communities.”

Further, Unite Us has partnered with health plans in Louisiana as well as Ochsner Health in New Orleans to provide expanded access to its platform.

Care managers at health plans Louisiana Healthcare Connections and Aetna Better Health of Louisiana as well as insurer Humana are now using the Unite Us platform to connect Medicaid and Dual-eligible Special Needs Plan members with social services.

In addition, care teams at Ochsner Health are using the platform to coordinate social services for their patients.

“We are not just looking in silos,” Taylor Justice, president and co-founder of Unite Us, said in a phone call. “We have big organizations, two of which are competitors, that are saying we shouldn’t compete around access to community-based organizations. We should come together, which is refreshing in the healthcare space.”

Photo: syahrir maulana, Getty Images