Creating successful community programs with Outcomes Financing

In 2020, UnitedHealth Group committed $10 million to the Community Outcomes Fund at Maycomb Capital, a leading impact investing platform that supports effective solutions for underserved communities across the country. The Community Outcomes Fund, one of Maycomb’s flagship funds, is the largest pool of outcomes financing capital in the United States. Outcomes financing is a tool to help ensure that government-funded social services projects have measurable results.

A more successful way to create community change

Urgent community needs demand interventions that work — from rebuilding a teacher workforce to ensuring that parents and newborns are healthy and supported post birth. When health and human services programs fall short of their desired objectives, individuals, children and families all lose out. Outcomes financing is a tool local government, civic leaders and services providers can utilize to launch or expand health and human services programs to deliver real, measurable benefits to communities. By aligning spending with results, outcomes financing allows service providers to scale their programs sustainably without compromising impact, all while enhancing accountability, transparency and collaboration across the public and private sectors. Here are some examples of how outcomes financing works in practice.

Investing in communities throughout the country

To date, the Fund has committed nearly $40 million to projects that address community needs. Some recent investments include:

Para-to-Teacher Pipeline Project, Denver, Colorado

Amid a severe teacher shortage, the Para-to-Teacher Pipeline Project aims to build a bigger, more diverse teacher pipeline and reduce turnover in Denver-area schools. The Project expands the Center for Urban Education (CUE) at the University of Northern Colorado—a high-quality teacher training program that offers paraprofessionals a pathway to become full-time teachers. Paraprofessionals are a promising but often-overlooked educator talent pool. Predominantly people of color, they typically have extensive classroom experience and local roots but earn less than a full-time teacher's salary. Trendlines, a Denver-based workforce development accelerator, is helping CUE sustainably expand its operations by providing strategic support around recruitment, data systems and performance management. The project aims to graduate 200 paraprofessionals and the outcomes measured include teacher placement and retention.

Hello Family, a Continuum of Prenatal and Early Childhood Services in Spartanburg, SC

Hello Family is a continuum of services that work to reverse the trend of childhood poverty in Spartanburg, SC. Through a partnership with the City of Spartanburg, regional health organizations, and community leaders, the project is expected to serve 4,000 children and families over the next 5 years. The suite of services is designed to care for children from before they are born through age five, including a community doula program and home visiting. Key indicators of success include increased instances of healthy birth weight, quality improvements in childcare, improved caregiving skills, and increased school readiness.

Multi-pronged strategy to address SDOH needs and health equity

Outcomes-based investing is part of UnitedHealthcare’s multi-pronged strategy. By helping to align funding with positive, measurable outcomes through our investment in the Community Outcomes Fund, we are working to strengthen communities, increase opportunities and expand economic growth.

The long-term goal with these and all initiatives we are involved with at the community level is to create measurable changes that improve people’s and communities' health and increase health and racial equity.

Read more about Maycomb Capital investments: Maycomb Capital Partnership Transforms Social Services Funding | UnitedHealthcare Community & State

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