No one employer or payer or provider can be an expert on every community — and they don’t have to be. The fight to erase health inequities must be a collective one, with employers, payers, providers and community-based organizations amplifying each other’s efforts in order to drive better outcomes.
For their part, health payers recognize that community care improves member health, and can have a positive ripple effect on the health of an individual’s family and friends. Employers, too, understand that by choosing health plans and offering benefits that incorporate social services and promote the adoption of community-based organization (CBO) partnerships and programs, they can help better engage and address the social determinants of health (SDOH) related challenges of their employees.
CBOs work because they intimately understand the needs of the local population. And because these organizations are typically trusted by individuals in their community, they can often engage residents better than payers and employers can, providing targeted supports to drive better health outcomes. For that reason, they are a keystone of decentralized care delivery models now emerging around the country.
As Optum Care Solutions CEO Conway says, “When we’re able to put those sets of care delivery models together to address the whole person, that’s when the magic really happens in terms of the impact on the person, the family, and the caregivers we’re serving.”
1Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy. A pathway for coordinated, affordable employer-sponsored health care. September 20, 2021.
2Deloitte Insights. Activating health equity: A moral imperative calling for business solutions. April 2021.
3Optum. News release. June 30, 2021.
4Kaiser Family Foundation. Racial disparities in maternal and infant health. November 10, 2020.
6Commonwealth Fund. Community-based models to improve maternal health outcomes and promote health equity. March 4, 2021.
8Urban Institute. Evidence-informed and community-based recommendations for improving maternal health outcomes. April 2021.
Disclaimer: Stock photo. Posed by model.