Empowering Our Communities to Find Help
NHN & Aunt Bertha Are Here For You!
By definition, Accountable Care Organizations are networks of physicians and other health-care providers who share financial and medical responsibility for patients. They focus on quality of care, population health management, the patient experience and cost.
In simple terms, ACOs like the Nebraska Health Network work to make patient care better.
But sometimes, patients have needs that extend beyond their medical care. They may be struggling with housing or food insecurities; they could be out of work or having trouble making ends meet.
estimates that one-third of Americans struggle with social determinants of health, and with the onset of COVID-19, that number is growing at an alarming rate. According to , the number of Americans facing food insecurity is expected to grow to more than 54 million in 2021, compared to 37.2 million in 2018. And 16% of Americans say they’ve struggled paying for housing according to the
Unfortunately, we are often hesitant to share our struggles with others. This is especially true of social determinants that often have a stigma associated with them. Recognizing that many of our patients need help, but most are reluctant to talk about those needs with their health-care team, we created a way to empower individuals to find the support they need any time, day or night.
In March of 2020, NHN launched . Community Relay is a social services platform powered by that features more than 400,000 free- or reduced-cost services and programs nationwide. Community Relay is free to use – there is no charge for users to search for assistance nor is there a charge for Community Benefit Organizations and non-profits to be included in the directory.
Starting with their zip code, individuals can independently search for assistance across 10 support categories: food, housing, goods, health, money, transit, care, education, work or legal. Users can confidentially explore the offerings of local community benefit organizations and reach out for help when they are ready, 24/7. An optional assessment can help users filter their results and identify programs that may be beneficial based on their responses.
Within the ACO, our health-care providers can use Community Relay to refer patients to support services. We are also analyzing search trends to identify the greatest areas of community need so that we can work with community benefit organizations to increase their visibility and outreach.
Using Community Relay in Your Community
Community Relay is a free resource that can be shared with patients, providers and community members. If you would like access to detailed analytics regarding local search patterns and the ability for your providers to access a provider-specific portal, you will need to contract directly with Aunt Bertha. Please contact Lindsay Cosimano, APR, to learn more.