PHILADELPHIA — Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and Signify Health announce the launch of CommunityLink™, a network of community-based organizations designed to break down the traditional barriers between social and clinical care and improve health outcomes for people who need help with non-medical services (such as help with food, housing, transportation, financial support, etc.) in the Philadelphia region.
Independence Registered Nurse Health Coaches, Signify Health social care coordinators, and local community-based organizations are now all connected via the CommunityLink network and are able to coordinate on behalf of Independence Medicare Advantage members and other people throughout the region for non-medical services. Starting in 2021, clinicians and other health care providers will be able to use CommunityLink to refer patients as well.
To date, the CommunityLink network consists of the following organizations: Project HOME (Helen Brown Community Center, Honickman Learning Center and Stephen Klein Wellness Center), Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi), Philadelphia Food Trust, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Well Spouse and Greater Philadelphia YMCA. More organizations will join the network in the coming months.
Independence and Signify Health are now among the first in the nation to have designed a community-based network that combines management of social determinants of health with in-home health visits. The new community-based network expands Independence’s existing relationship with Signify Health, which sends clinicians into the homes of Independence Medicare Advantage members to assess overall health, facilitate the management of chronic conditions, and provide diagnostic and other clinical services.
“Creating a more equitable health care system includes acknowledging that health not only happens in the doctor’s office, but in our members’ homes and communities. That is why we are so pleased to work with Signify Health on developing CommunityLink,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence Blue Cross President and CEO. “We will be able to identify obstacles our members may be facing and offer solutions that are available to them right where they live through this new network.”
By using Signify Health’s privacy-enabled collaboration platform, organizations can leverage CommunityLink to safely and securely collaborate, share, and track an individual’s whole-health needs longitudinally across different care settings to address their social determinants of health. This gives Independence—as well as other community-based organizations who may be referring into CommunityLink—the ability to track and measure an individual’s whole-health needs over time as they interact with multiple social and clinical providers and community organizations.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Independence Blue Cross on making Philadelphia a more connected community,” said Kyle Armbrester, CEO of Signify Health. “Our goal is to create the opportunity for more healthy, happy days in the home by providing health care and social support services wherever and whenever they’re needed most. This initiative will help address health inequalities and gaps in care and lift up the quality of life for the individuals we are privileged to serve every day.”
Project HOME, which is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness, played an integral role in the formation of the CommunityLink network.
“We’ve always had an approach of treating the whole person at our Stephen Klein Wellness Center and Healthcare Services,” said Project HOME President and Executive Director Sister Mary Scullion. “This collaboration with Independence Blue Cross and Signify Health allows us to reach even more people and empower the community to foster greater health and wellness.”