Investing in Rhode Island communities to improve health outcomes

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses many new and growing challenges for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). As part of our mission to help people live healthier lives, we’re providing support to FQHCs through our UnitedHealthcare CatalystTM initiative. This program is centered around a collaborative effort to address social needs, advance population health, and most importantly, to improve and expand access to care for the communities we serve.

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island has invested $250,000 in two FQHCs through the Catalyst initiative. By partnering with each health center for a year, the initiative is supporting strategic collaboration to develop and implement a plan to address one area of health that is either specific to a patient population, a social issue or a health condition.

Addressing health disparities and the opioid crisis

The East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) is a FQHC, a state licensed Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) and a Community Action Program serving families with integrated health and enabling services. They make up one of the large investments, with $100,000 worth of funding going toward their efforts to help the youth and adolescent population, specifically those enrolled at East Providence High School and at-risk youth eligible for Family Care Community Partnership. The catalyst funding will support operational activities that will increase access to and improve the quality of substance-use disorder treatment as well as community medical and behavioral health services.

The collaboration with the Providence School Department and the city of East Providence includes the renovation and repurposing of an existing space to create a school-based health clinic across from the new high school location. The property is adjacent to the only Senior Center in the area, which will also allow the facility to offer intergenerational activities to engage seniors with youth and adolescents.

The hope is to positively impact health disparities, address social needs, advance population health and address the opioid crisis.

Improving access to care

Another $150,000 is going to Providence Community Health Center (PCHC), the only FQHC in Providence, Rhode Island. PCHC offers primary care services that are affordable, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive to around 60,000 residents of Providence and the surrounding areas. The target population will be Medicaid patients that are at highest risk, roughly the top 8% of our members.

These at-risk members are more susceptible to social determinant stressors that impact their health. Some of these stressors are food insecurity and lack of housing and transportation that make it increasingly difficult to self-manage chronic conditions.

The goal of this collaboration is to implement a high-risk clinic designed to provide integrated care navigation with community health advocates, telemonitoring with telemedicine, integrated nurse care management and longer provider visits to better address complex problems and enhance engagement with patients.

By also partnering with Farm Fresh Rhode Island, patients will have access to healthy food choices to help improve their quality of life.

This latest focus has an aim to improve access, enhance care transitions, increase care intensity and resource allocation, as well as address social needs.

As we continue to build on our existing partnerships and broaden our reach with very strategic focus area initiatives, we will be able to fulfill on our united mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health care system work better for everyone.

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