These initiatives included partnerships with pharmacists, reimbursing them for connecting their patients to services that address basic needs such as food, nutrition, transportation, housing, and baby supplies. In particular, Optum Rx focused on critical areas, including community resources, for underserved members, maternal wellness and meeting health care needs in urban and rural pharmacy deserts.
To date, two programs have successfully launched with additional initiatives planned for January 2024, including:
- Resource Bridge connects underserved members to local community resources through the Unite US Health Equity platform. Launched in limited communities identified by need in June, the program bridges gaps in health care for hundreds of members, including in Queens, New York.
- Bridge to Health Baby provides pregnant moms with a baby kit that includes maternal fetal care and baby products, as well as a wallet card to the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline to support a healthier pregnancy, help prevent birth defects and pre-term labor. In addition, Optum Rx supported partner communities with grants to local diaper banks in New Orleans, Detroit and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Bridge to Pharmacy Care will connect members with transportation to resources if a need exists. Pharmacists connecting members with the service will be reimbursed for every successful interaction.
- Bridge to Provider Care will provide members living in rural or urban areas without access to health care with telemedicine resources to promote better health outcomes.
“Community and independent pharmacies are on the front lines of health care, playing an important role in connecting patients where they are with the care they need. Optum Rx is focused on ensuring pharmacists are recognized and rewarded for the vital role they play in providing care to patients. We are proud to partner with them as part of our broader commitment to positively impacting health equity by expanding access to care and preventative services in underserved communities.”
Patrick Conway | chief executive officer, Optum Rx
In addition to directly supporting pharmacists and members who use community and independent pharmacies, Optum Rx is also upgrading several functions to streamline administrative processes, including:
- Improved analytics and reporting, including access to more detailed claims information.
- Enhanced provider portal to reduce the time pharmacists spend on administration.
- Payment and cash flow predictability and value-based reimbursement opportunities focused on patient support, advancing care for underserved and rural populations and disease management.