CHICAGO (February 1, 2022)—Zing Health, a physician-founded-and-led provider of Medicare Advantage HMO healthcare plans, is launching a community care team staffed by nurses and community health workers. Working with primary care providers, they act as advocates and educators to ensure members’ access to quality care and improve measures of health equity.
“Our objective is to provide the best choices for services that support beneficiaries in their own community, whether it be urban or rural,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, founder and CEO of Zing Health. “The social determinants of health—the food on their table and the conditions they live in—have a powerful influence on their well-being.”
A member of the Zing Health community care team will reach out to plan members before, during, or after clinical interactions to help them follow their individual care plans, and will identify clinical, financial, and social services that enhance their capacity to live a healthier life.
Follow-through Brings the Clinic Into the Community
“To improve the population health of the entire community, it’s important to think of what happens beyond the clinical setting,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, chief medical officer at Zing Health. “We are extending our provider network into the community setting to support our members as they live their lives.”
Care team staff will make sure members are filling prescriptions and taking them as directed and connect members to social support in under-resourced communities. The effort ensures equal access to care that is available under Medicare Advantage plans but often untapped.
“Over the last decade, there’s been a wide realization that social determinants drive health outcomes,” Dr. Haywood said. “A much more holistic approach to population health management will make thoughtful interventions to support members before and after treatment. By stepping up our community team outreach, we leverage individualized care paths to guide members on their health journey.”
Zing Health’s community care team works with health assessment and claims data proactively to make sure beneficiaries are receiving primary prevention measures such as influenza vaccination or secondary prevention services such as screening for colorectal cancer. The team helps beneficiaries live with long-term illness by making sure they understand and follow their disease management program. They assure members’ home care needs are being addressed once they leave the hospital and suggest how to deal with the demands of their treatment in everyday life.
“Where possible, the team provides services that match the unique situation for the member,” Dr. Haywood said. “For example, the team will connect members with their transportation benefits to access the primary care physician. Home delivery of meals or a grocery benefit could support their nutritional needs. Some members may be eligible for utility assistance or companionship services in the home.”
Teams Leverage Smart Technology, Medicare Advantage Benefits
Advancements in technology have made Zing Health’s commitment much easier to accomplish, and its suite of extra benefits is designed to comprehensively address the unique barriers members face on a personal level.
Community care teams use technology to make virtual visits, provide health risk assessments, and track claims data such as prescription pickups or hospital admissions. These tools help the team determine members’ current situation, top priorities and social service needs.
Zing Health Medicare Advantage plans provide benefits for dental, vision, and hearing care, as well as care management for chronic conditions. Drawing from a more comprehensive set of services than traditional Medicare offers, Zing Health focuses on getting resources to members who need them the most, both within the suite of benefits and through community organizations.
“This innovative approach to care management supports the primary care physician, making comprehensive health risk assessments and matching services with the needs of the members,” Dr. Whitaker said. “Our technology platforms afford the capacity to address the unique needs of each individual member with clinical and social supports. In this way we can assure health equity in under-resourced communities.”
Zing Health is a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Zing Health depends on contract renewal. Zing Health complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.