Thursday, October 07, 2021
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Rhode Island Neighborhood Health Plan announced that a new benefit will be added to help some of Rhode Island’s most medically and economically disadvantaged people who are designed to tackle social isolation, loneliness, and other social barriers.
Neighborhood is adding Papa Pals – an escort and assistance health resource – to its Health Plan 2022 offerings for dual-beneficiary members of its INTEGRITY Medicare-Medicaid plan.
Using data to help most of those in need
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Neighborhood added the benefit after working closely with applied data science partner Algorex Health to discover that its INTEGRITY members are at more than twice the risk of social isolation than other adult members in the Medicaid and commercial plans Organization.
“These very results are the reason why we continuously evaluate social determinants of health data in our member populations,” said Dr. Christopher Ottiano, Neighborhood Medical Director. “Using this type of data gives us the clinical insight we need to determine appropriate interventions that will improve health outcomes. In this case, we know that a group of our members has a high incidence of social isolation and that studies show that social isolation is associated with an approximately 50% increased risk of dementia and other serious illnesses. Offering Papa Pals services to our INTEGRITY members is one way we can make a difference. “
Papa Pals is one of four additional benefits that will complement Neighborhood’s INTEGRITY plan in the coming year.
Through Neighborhood’s partnership with Papa Pals, INTEGRITY members have access to visits from a qualified, trained companion for up to 120 hours per year. Multilingual “friends” can help members with household chores, meal preparation, transportation, exercise and exercise, electronic device guidance, and home social activities such as conversation, board games, reading, and more.
Approximately 13,000 Rhode Island residents are covered by the INTEGRITY health plan and can start enjoying the new benefits starting January 1, 2022.
Additional benefits – all at no additional cost to members – include Mom’s Meals meals delivered to your home after hospitalization or surgery; a Healthy Food Savings Card, which offers members a monthly allowance for healthy food; and a wellness benefit, including gym membership in six of the YMCA of Greater Providence stores.
Through Neighborhood’s partnership with Mom’s Meals, INTEGRITY members receive medically tailored, chilled ready meals that are ready to be heated and consumed. Members can use this benefit after hospitalization or surgery. Members are screened for food insecurity prior to dismissal; Mom’s Meals meals are then planned and delivered to the member’s door.
Free gym membership is offered in partnership with Greater Providence YMCA branches. This wellness benefit takes into account the language and transport barriers that many INTEGRITY members face. Membership includes access to a bilingual YMCA connection, transportation to and from designated YMCA locations, and both personal and virtual class offerings. An activity tracker is included with every gym membership
“Access to fitness activities, healthy eating, and social stimulation is an essential part of improving overall health,” said Dr. Ottiano. “Neighborhood looks forward to continuing to find ways we can use these additional benefits to remove the barriers for our members to improve their health and wellbeing. INTEGRITY members in particular are among our medically weakest members, as they are typically elderly or adults with disabilities who have a wide range of health needs and are often economically disadvantaged. Therefore, we attach great importance to finding innovative ways to meet your health needs. ”
All four new services will be available to INTEGRITY members in 2022 and complement the wide range of services currently covered by the health plan. Neighborhood’s current INTEGRITY Medicare-Medicaid plan provides members with 24/7 care management, access to residential and rehabilitation specialists, long-term services and support (LTSS), and other flexible benefits.
Key benefits of the current plan include coordinated care teams, a person-centered care approach; and a health insurance card that covers both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. In addition, members have access to a care manager to help manage the complexity of the system and maintain health.
Neighborhood is the only health insurer in Rhode Island to offer an integrated Medicare-Medicaid health plan with no plan premium or co-payments. For more information, contact the neighborhood membership service at 1-844-812-6896 (TTY711).