Bringing care home to reduce social drivers of health

Kaitlin Zahn is Clinical Strategy Director and Laura Kalies is Associate Director Clinical Capabilities with UnitedHealthcare Community & State.

Access to care and continuity of care are important to a member’s overall health. Yet some members may be unable to leave their home for medical or mobility reasons to get the care they need. Social drivers of health, such as not having a car or access to transportation options, or food, shelter and clothing issues, may also impact a member’s ability to prioritize their health and the care they need.

The UnitedHealthcare (UHC) HouseCalls program, utilized by Community & State (C&S) Medicaid, is an annual in-home multi-dimensional clinical assessment service where Advanced Practice Clinicians (APC) connect with members on their medical, behavioral and social needs. The program identifies member needs, closes quality gaps in care and promotes positive member outcomes. APCs provide member education, develop and communicate a plan of care and share visit results with the member’s primary care provider. 

Over a decade of bringing care home

UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls has provided in-home assessments since 2011.

In 2022, the program:

  • Offered more than 2.2 million visits across 50 states (not exclusively to UHC or C&S), with a network of more than 3,200 licensed advance practice clinicians.
  • Garnered an NPS score of 75.
  • Received a 99%-member satisfaction rate.
  • Reported that 76% of members completed a follow-up with the provider within 90 days after their HouseCalls visit.

Making care connections in Medicaid

What makes the program unique is the direct member connection — the availability to complete a home or virtual visit depending on the member’s preference. The program also supports enrollee reengagement through outreach and interaction to ensure ongoing member care needs are being evaluated and met. Often, re-engaging members in care starts with their most basic needs.

For example, UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls has helped identify opportunities to combat social drivers of health for members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island. This included identifying and connecting members to community resources for support with transportation, food insecurity, energy assistance and government funded mobile telephone access programs.

We’re currently expanding the program due to high member satisfaction, and known SDOH and clinical needs, such as blood pressure control and more. Offering a direct member connection through a home or virtual visit based on a member’s preference fosters trust, provides comfort and convenience, and fills the gaps in quality care. Creating and scaling programs like UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls is one more way we are improving health equity and building a stronger society, so everyone has the chance to live their healthiest life. 

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