MetroHealth receives $500,000 from UnitedHealthcare to expand two social determinants of health programs

With the help of a $500,000 grant from UnitedHealthCare, MetroHealth will expand two programs addressing social determinants of health for underserved populations in the Greater Cleveland area, according to a news release.

The three-year collaboration aims to expand initiatives that target high-risk pregnant mothers and medically complex patient populations through the programs, both of which connect participants to wrap-around services like housing support, food assistance, financial resources and employment resources to improve health outcomes, according to the release.

UnitedHealthcare and MetroHealth will collaborate to design and test effective care management strategies based on program findings, according to the release, which notes that this could impact many of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid members in the Cleveland area.

“The need for payer and provider partnerships to address the health needs of the underserved has never been more evident,” Mike Roaldi, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community & State Ohio, said in a provided statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us to step up our support services and come together for the sake of community health. We are committed to helping drive better health outcomes for underserved populations in Ohio and are grateful to partners like MetroHealth for their commitment to a mission we both share.”

The funding from UnitedHealthcare will enable MetroHealth to increase capacity for its Mom & Baby Bundle program (which brings providers and community-based organizations together to support pregnant women and infants with higher risk for poor birth outcomes, including those with opioid use disorder or experiencing housing insecurity) and for its Red Carpet Care program (which provides food and housing assistance to patients who frequently visit the emergency room and those with medically complex conditions to address issues that may prevent them from achieving better health). The Red Carpet Care program aims to improve overall health and reduce the need to visit the hospital by establishing a primary care provider for patients and offering well-coordinated services that meet their basic needs.

The funding also supports MetroHealth’s efforts to track patient outcomes and identify drivers of poor outcomes.

“Both programs focus on long-term, sustainable transformation,” Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth CEO and president, said in a provided statement. “Whether it is helping mothers and their babies get off to a healthy start or working with people with complex medical issues that often come to our Emergency Department, thousands of people in Northeast Ohio will be better off because of this effort.”

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