Supporting Military Caregivers Through Technology: Connecting on the Homefront
The United Health Foundation and Blue Star Families created the Military Caregiver Online Interactive Program, an online tool using avatar technology to create simulations and care scenarios for caregivers to problem-solve and address real-life challenges to care.
Why it Matters: There are an estimated 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers in the United States. In addition to their caregiving responsibilities, many military family members experience stressors unique to living a military lifestyle, and without appropriate support the role of a caregiver can feel overwhelming. Blue Star Families and UnitedHealth Group are using innovative technology solutions to help connect military and veteran caregivers with tools and resources while building new bridges for support and community.
New Data – America's Health Rankings Health of Those Who Have Served Report
The United Health Foundation has released the 2018 America's Health Rankings Health of Those Who Have Served Report, a check-up on the health and well-being of those who have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Why it Matters: Men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces face unique health challenges. The insights from this report are intended to help stimulate dialogue, spark cross-stakeholder collaboration and drive action to improve the lives of service members and veterans and the health of the communities where they live.
A Program Dedicated to Create Diverse Health Workforces
Maria Vormestrand, a student attending Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, North Dakota, is a participant in the United Health Foundation's Diverse Scholars Initiative. She is on track to begin a long-awaited career in social work with an emphasis on substance abuse to help underserved individuals in her own community.
The Big Picture: According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, diversity in health workforces can lead to greater health care access, increased patient satisfaction and improved problem-solving skills. The Diverse Scholars Initiative aims to create a more diverse workforce and bring unique perspectives to the health care industry by providing grants to various minority scholarship organizations. In addition to financial aid, the initiative also provides scholars with mentors, internship programs and assistance in finding a professional career post-graduation.
Offering Help and Hope After Hurricane Michael
In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, UnitedHealth Group partnered with Matrix Medical Network to deploy a mobile clinic to provide health care directly to people living in affected areas. The mobile clinic, staffed by WellMed and Optum clinicians, cared for 225 Hurricane Michael survivors in Panama City, Florida.
New Program Prepares Students for Careers in Health Data Science
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the United Health Foundation have launched a $1.1 million partnership to train the next generation of health data experts. The partnership aims to address the growing need for a larger workforce of health data analysts and technologists.
Accessing Health Care: The Role of a Community Health Worker
With the aid of a $1.5 million grant from UnitedHealthcare, Daughters of Charity Health Centers in New Orleans has hired and trained a team of 15 community health workers to help guide vulnerable individuals through the health care system and connect them to the care and services they need.
Why it Matters:
In New Orleans, 26 percent of people live below the poverty line. Without resources like food, reliable transportation, stable housing or social connection, a person's health can be adversely impacted. Community health workers help remove these barriers to care and are projected to reach 3,750 people in the New Orleans area this year alone.
Employees Reach Out to People Affected by Hurricane Florence
The people of UnitedHealth Group, Optum and UnitedHealthcare are helping the residents of North Carolina and South Carolina recover and rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Despite the damage and loss of power to her home, Tashlyn Thomas, an Optum HouseCalls nurse practitioner, joined a team staffing one of UnitedHealthcare's mobile clinics.
How 15 Individuals Are Helping to Improve the Health of Thousands in Missouri
With the aid of a $1.5 million grant from UnitedHealthcare, Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Missouri has hired and trained a team of 15 community health workers to help guide vulnerable individuals through the health care system and connect them to the care and services they need.
Why it Matters: In the surrounding counties of Springfield, Missouri, 43 percent of people live below the federal poverty level. When people don't know if they can pay rent or put food on the table, getting proper health care is often not a top priority. Community health workers are projected to reach 6,000 people across Southwest Missouri this year alone.
Addressing the Nation's Primary Care Shortage: Advanced Practice Clinicians and Innovative Care Delivery Models
A new report from UnitedHealth Group highlights that in the U.S., we have the opportunity to increase primary care capacity by allowing advanced practice clinicians to practice to the full extent of their education and training. In addition, we can enhance efforts to increase primary care capacity and access to care through the use of innovative care delivery models, including urgent care centers, retail health clinics, and in-home clinical visits.
Why it matters: Effective primary care improves quality, outcomes, and patient experience, while coordinating care and containing costs. However, 13 percent of U.S. residents live in a county with a primary care physician shortage, defined as less than one primary care physician per 2,000 people, and demand will increase significantly in the coming years. Advanced practice physicians are a growing part of the nation's primary care workforce and represent a practical, near-term opportunity to increase access to care.
New Medicare Step Therapy Policy Good for Consumers, Health Care System
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a blueprint this spring to lower prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket costs. One piece of that plan is to allow step therapy for physician-administered drugs covered under Medicare Part B. Step therapy promotes use of clinically equivalent, lower-cost drugs before coverage is offered for clinically similar, higher-cost drugs.
UNLV School of Medicine Welcomes Class of 2022
In recognition of the physician shortage in Nevada, the United Health Foundation is partnering with the UNLV School of Medicine to develop a new, innovative medical school curriculum at the newly established and only medical school in Nevada. Students in the second class of the School of Medicine all have strong Nevada ties and intend to remain in the state once their schooling is complete.
Value-based Care Relationship With Medtronic Helps Those With Diabetes Avoid the Hospital
UnitedHealthcare has combined its data with Medtronic's to analyze how access to, and proper use of, market-leading insulin pump technology may help prevent dangerous blood sugar lows and diabetes complications. That relationship is producing new clinical insights to successfully help manage Type 1 diabetes.
Why it Matters: It's estimated that more than 20 percent of U.S. health care spending is for people with diabetes -- an estimated $327 billion in 2017. For Medtronic insulin pump users, UnitedHealthcare's value-based care approach showed a 27 percent reduction in preventable hospital admissions in the first year.