Companion care company Papa is now offering its Social Care Navigation service to all its health plan customers after a limited rollout last year, the company announced Monday.
Miami-based Papa works with payers and employers to provide social support to seniors and families, as well as assistance with everyday tasks, transportation and other needs.
The company’s Social Care Navigation offering expands on the companionship services and provides users with a team of social care navigators, including social workers, registered nurses, case managers and dieticians. This team can help with social issues the patient may be experiencing, including housing, paying for groceries and overdue health screenings. The team analyzes claims data and case management referrals to understand the social needs of the patient in order to provide the additional services, said Ellen Rudy, vice president of health and social impact at Papa.
“Our social care navigation team is like the quarterback,” Rudy said in an interview. “They’re proactively providing and deploying the right social services and support that we find our members need.”
Papa introduced Social Care Navigation last year to a select group of health plans. So far, more than a quarter of the company’s health plan clients are using the Social Care Navigation offering. Now, the service is being offered to all its payer customers, which include Humana and Alignment Health.
Fallon Health, which serves members in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, is one user of Social Care Navigation. About 45% of its members who had visits with Papa received support from the company’s social care navigators, who offered services like scheduling appointments and providing medical equipment, according to a news release.
“Social Care Navigation supports our team and members unlike any way we’ve seen before,” said Lynn Patterson, vice president of clinical integration for Fallon Health, in the news release. “Papa’s social care navigators serve as true partners to our care management team, working in concert with the Papa Pals who provide vital in-home support to surface and address high-priority needs to multiply our impact.”
Papa’s news comes at a time when more than half of older adults have experienced an unmet social need, according to a report by the AARP Foundation. This includes 22% of older adults who are experiencing loneliness, 16% who are battling food insecurity, 12% who have inadequate transportation, 11% who have mobility challenges, 23% who have financial troubles and 22% who are living alone.
Papa aims to move the needle on these stats by expanding its Social Care Navigation offering, Rudy said.
“Our key goal is to say that we have reduced and mitigated many of the unmet social needs that we are seeing with older adults,” Rudy stated. “By doing that, we are going to help health plans improve member’s health outcomes and reduce avoidable healthcare utilization.”
Picture: Benjavisa, Getty Images