Deploying Community Health Workers as a Front-line COVID-19 Solution (with a 2X ROI)


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By Don Lee and Shahid Shah. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) in healthcare, and why it may be the most critical factor when it comes to lowering costs and improving outcomes… especially for vulnerable communities. For me, there is zero doubt that this is what needs to happen. However, we’ve seen very few programs that have been successful, sustainable, and scalable. That’s a big problem, and when this happens, you risk losing the attention of key decision-makers that we need to drive these new approaches forward.

If we know the interventions work, but we haven’t been able to find financial alignment within the system… then perhaps we’re doing it wrong.

Today we’re talking with someone who’s made it work. Jill Feldstein is Chief Operating Officer at the Penn Center for Community Health Workers at Penn Medicine.

They help healthcare organizations across the country start or improve Community Health Worker (CHW) programs using the Center’s evidence-based IMPaCT model.

And they’re returning $2 for every $1 spent.

I first heard about the Penn Center for Community Health Workers at the recent NCQA Quality Talks event. Executive Director, Shreya Kangovi, pitched the idea of using federal funds to hire Community Health Workers as part of our COVID-19 response. It would help patients get the care they need. It would keep us safer as we re-open the economy. AND it would create new jobs! It’s effective. It’s efficient. I love this idea.

So today we’re going to learn about Community Health Workers, how health systems and payers can use the Penn Centers IMPaCT model to drive a 2:1 ROI, and why right now, in the face of the COVID epidemic, may be the best time to do it.

After you listen, I encourage you to consider signing The Penn Center for Community Health Workers letters to CMS and Congress. The letters outline the benefits of community health workers and explain how they can make a huge difference as we battle our way out of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Full show notes:

162 episodes