UnitedHealthcare’s Kathleen Stillo, will present the strategy and impact of leading-edge care models that address the health-related social needs of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid members at RISE West, a premier senior leadership conference that will take place Sept. 9-11 in San Diego.
One model, Housing + Health, focuses on providing housing and integrated wraparound care to members who are persistent and frequent users of the health care system and are currently homeless, said Stillo, president and chief operating officer of the clinical redesign direct care delivery unit in UnitedHealthcare’s Community & State division.
“Most models are built around body parts, ours was built around people. The work is similar in many ways, but from the position of payer, the opportunity is significant. We’re impacting vulnerable patients nationwide,” Stillo said.
UnitedHealthcare has approximately seven million Medicaid members across 30 states within its system. A small percentage of these members live with a variety of extreme complexities–chronic medical conditions, behavioral health issues, and social disparities, like homelessness, according to Stillo. “They’re utilizing the health care system in many ways–ERs, nursing facilities, and so on. While their cost of care accumulates, they’re not feeling better. They’ve yet to have the root cause of their situations addressed,” she said.
UnitedHealthcare launched its first Housing + Health model in the Phoenix market in 2016. The organization learned that those members who experience homelessness visit the emergency room nine times more frequently than other members who are not homeless. They have six times the amount of inpatient stays and their medical spend is more than three times of those members who aren’t homeless. These insights informed the organization’s strategy in Phoenix and subsequent markets.