New York Community Partners and Unite Us Drive Innovation as State Prepares for Medicaid 1115 Waiver

Unite Us and Catholic Charities Family & Community Services partner with local organizations on innovative social care payments pilot ahead of New York Medicaid 1115 waiver

NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Catholic Charities Family & Community Services (CCFCS), 360 Collaborative Network, Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS), and Unite Us, the nation’s leading software company enabling cross-sector collaboration to improve people’s health and well-being, announce a groundbreaking partnership with Foodlink and Jordan Health. Together, the partners are launching the first transformative pilot project to enhance social care payments within the Finger Lakes region in New York.

Since 2018, organizations in the region have been using Unite Us’ secure software platform to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among healthcare providers, social care organizations, and community partners — ensuring that individuals receive appropriate care at the right time. Unite Us’ Payments, an add-on solution, further enhances the capabilities of each organization, enabling them to track and reimburse the provision of social services, such as access to quality food.

Through this pilot, Jordan Health will identify patients to participate. To be eligible, patients must be 18 or older, have Type 2 Diabetes, be residents of Monroe County, and be deemed food insecure via the evidence-based Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Health-Related Social Needs Screening Tool. Patients meeting this criteria can enroll in a six-month Food and Vegetable Produce Prescription (FVRx) program administered by Foodlink. The Unite Us Research & Evaluation team collaborated with FLPPS, the 360 Collaborative Network, Foodlink, and Jordan Health to design and execute an evaluation of this pilot project to demonstrate the program’s impact.

“Jordan Health is proud to partner with organizations that align with our mission to ensure everyone has access to basic needs like fresh produce, which is critical to living a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Linda Clark, President & CEO of Jordan Health. “We have always understood the importance of social needs in driving health. This program and partnership will greatly benefit our patients and the community.”

Eligible patients can enroll in one of two programs led by Foodlink’s Curbside Market — a mobile market that increases access to healthy foods in under-resourced communities. One program delivers fresh produce to patients with limited mobility; the other provides a $30 monthly credit to shop at the market. All participants receive a cookware set and access to healthy recipes. 

“This effort demonstrates a significant step forward in addressing the critical social drivers of health that impact individuals’ overall well-being by leveraging technology and investing in the foundations of whole-person care,” said Marc Natale, New York State Director of Customer & Community Success, Unite Us. “Through this collaboration, Catholic Charities Family & Community Services will accelerate the impact of community-based organizations to ensure they are compensated for the value they bring in delivering and driving meaningful change in this region.”

The pilot project is launching ahead of the impending 1115 Medicaid waiver amendment in New York. This iteration of the 1115 waiver aims to build a more resilient, flexible, and integrated delivery system that reduces health disparities, advances health equity, and supports social care accessibility. Integral to meeting this goal is building a sustainable infrastructure for social services to survive and thrive.

“As our region prepares for the New York State Department of Health’s 1115 New York Health Equity Reform Waiver, it’s important to support our partners with innovative tools and resources needed to be successful in a social care payment delivery model that allows them to put into practice the workflows and mechanisms necessary to connect people to resources and be paid for social care services,” said Carol Tegas, CEO, FLPPS.

Many community-based organizations nationwide can’t meet local needs because social care has been historically underfunded. The Unite Us Payments solution provides the infrastructure for funding entities and community-based organizations to collaborate seamlessly—from streamlining the documentation, reporting, and billing processes to tying social care services back to health outcomes. By demonstrating the value of social care investments through this pilot, the partners are showing a new avenue that makes it easier for community-based organizations to access funding, provide social care at scale, and ensure the sustainability of social care services in the community.

“Our team is honored to collaborate with other leading public health organizations on an innovative produce prescription pilot,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “The evolution of our Curbside Market to offer this new model – after a decade of service to this community – helps support our belief that ‘food is medicine’ and that proper nutrition is critical to the health and wealth of our communities.”

“We are thrilled to launch a pilot program that aims to address health disparities and advance health equity,” said Lori Van Auken, President & CEO of CCFCS, the community-based organization that oversees the 360 Collaborative Network. “Our collaboration with Unite Us and FLPPS will build a sustainable infrastructure for social services vital to improving the health equity gaps across NYS.” 

“We are excited to be part of this pilot program,” said Peter Bauman, Executive Director of 360 Collaborative Network. “It allows us to demonstrate our ability to successfully launch and implement a payments program that addresses social needs, provides efficiency in tracking and remitting community-based organization payment for services, and strengthens the connection between healthcare and community providers.”

For media inquiries or more information about the partnership and the Social Care Payments Project, please contact:

Unite Us Media Contact
Jaquetta Gooden
Communications Manager
[email protected]

About the 360 Collaborative Network:
The 360 Collaborative Network is a person-centered, community-based, collaborative network that addresses social determinants of health, offers meaningful and impactful coordinated care, and helps families access services that support their economic mobility and overall well-being. The committed network of service providers helps break down community silos and promotes inclusion for access to critical services while maintaining privacy and security.

About Catholic Charities Family and Community Services:
Catholic Charities Family and Community Services (CCFCS) is among the largest community-based organization in our region, serving 12 counties with services that include, behavioral health, housing, employment, and coordination of care to help people of all ages and all walks of life live independently with dignity, while facing the challenges of addiction, aging, mental illness, HIV, poverty, developmental disability, and immigration. It serves as the fiduciary home for the 360 Collaborative Network.

About Finger Lakes Performing Provider System:
Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS), is not-for-profit organization that was established in 2014 with the mission of improving the healthcare delivery system for the Medicaid population. FLPPS is a network comprised of clinical and community-based provider organizations working together in a 13-county region to transform the system of healthcare delivery by bridging the gap between community and healthcare.

About Foodlink:
Foodlink is a Rochester-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and building healthier communities. We serve as the hub of the emergency food system across a 10-county service area, and administer many programs and initiatives that address the root causes of food insecurity, including chronic poverty and systemic racism. We provide food assistance through the safe storage and distribution of emergency food to our network of food bank members and community partners. We build healthier communities through innovative programs that create new access points to nutritious foods and empower people to make healthy choices. We drive change through bold career empowerment initiatives and advocacy for a more just, equitable food system. Learn more about how we are transforming lives and creating healthy futures for every community we serve at www.FoodlinkNY.org.

About Jordan Health:
Jordan Health has provided community-focused healthcare for over 100 years and is one of the country’s first five Federally Qualified Health Centers. Jordan Health serves underserved and uninsured residents in Rochester and Canandaigua, delivering on its mission: To provide community-based comprehensive health care of the highest quality with dignity and respect to all regardless of ability to pay.

About Unite Us:
Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company enabling collaboration across sectors to improve the health and well-being of communities. Unite Us’ secure solutions establish a new standard of care that identifies and predicts social care needs, connects people to services, and leverages meaningful outcomes data to further drive community investment. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, health plans, and healthcare providers are all connected to better collaborate and meet the needs of the individuals in their communities. Follow Unite Us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

SOURCE Unite Us

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