An American integrated managed care consortium Kaiser Permanente has established a partnership with population health platform Unite US for Thrive Local, a social health network. The health network is designed to connect healthcare and social services providers to address the pressing social requirements like food, housing, safety, utilities and more for millions of U.S. people. The Thrive Local will address several medical challenges as in certain areas over 29 percents of Kaiser Permanente’s members with greatest medical challenges are dealing with food insecurity, and up to 23 percents have concerns regarding housing stability.
Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive Local initiative comes as many health systems are trying to embark upon social determinants of health (SDOH) and reduce the high medical utilization costs. According to the report, the network will track community partner referrals and service outcomes to assess the degree to which participants’ needs are met, and collect data to continuously enhance service delivery and better address the health of the community. As per the announcement, the social health network will begin rolling out this summer and is predicted to be accessible by 2022 to all Kaiser Permanente’s 12.3 million members in addition to the 68 million people in the communities the health system serves.
In a statement, President and CEO of Northwest Permanente, Imelda Dacones stated that “Where and how people live, work and play drive more than half of health outcomes. To address total health, we, as physicians, need systems and networks that address our patients’ social needs.” According to her, “Health care in this country must continue to evolve — from acute episodic care, to an integrated coordinated system focused on prevention and coordinated care management. This tool will accelerate our evolution as a sector to next-generation care delivery — a community-integrated model that connects physicians, our patients and health care systems to community resources that address our patients’ socioeconomic needs.”