At the start of 2021, Anthem HealthKeepers Plus, Virginia’s largest Medicaid health plan, piloted a new program in Northern Virginia, bringing together community partners who contribute to the health and wellbeing of Anthem’s 150,000 members in the region.
Anthem HealthKeepers Plus has been an Aunt Bertha customer since 2016, using a white-label version of our search platform — The Community Resource Link — to connect their members with organizations that provide food, housing, and other forms of assistance to address social determinants of health. Anthem’s Community Resource Link also allows care coordinators to track the outcome of referrals they make to determine whether members actually received the help they need.
“All of these different teams are trying to help members,” says Dana DeLucia, a clinical quality program manager for Anthem. “But if they’re not connecting or if there’s a roadblock or red tape when you go from one organization to the next, then the ball gets dropped. We know our care coordinators are using Aunt Bertha, so we thought — let’s find the organizations they’re using and see if we can reach out to them to support their efforts.”
To that end, DeLucia worked with Anthem’s care coordination team and Social Determinants of Health committee to launch the Stepping Stones program to support community organizations that provide their members with stepping stones to build resilience. Stepping stones brings social service organizations together to learn about Aunt Bertha’s search and referral platform, address barriers to care, assess social needs in the region, and connect with other organizations in the network.
“We’re trying to introduce the nonprofits to the platform and say, ‘Okay, you might have a listing on Aunt Bertha or you might not yet, but let’s introduce you to that because then we know you’ll be able to impact more people, and more people will be able to find you by using the platform,” says Jamie Clancey, a care coordinator for Anthem. “We’re also helping with grant funding for some of these nonprofits, so that they can, in turn, better impact and serve our members.”
Each quarter, Anthem uses the data within the Aunt Bertha platform, among other considerations, to identify several Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) providing assistance to Anthem members, and then supports their work with an unrestricted grant of $500.
In January, Anthem surprised Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) with the first of these $500 grants. WFCM, which provides food and financial assistance to those earning under 200% of the federal poverty level, used the funding to help purchase a new van. WFCM is now using the new van to deliver its weekly surplus to nearby affordable housing communities. WFCM also met with Aunt Bertha and claimed their programs on the platform so they can manage their program information and designate their preferred intake method.
To more directly reach their members, Anthem conducted a texting campaign to share their community resource page and encourage members to search for and connect to resources on their own. In addition to the texting campaign, Anthem shares the Community Resource Link via social media to reach more members across the region and make it easy for them to connect to local resources.
“Aunt Bertha is a bridge that is connecting our Community-Based Organizations and Anthem for the betterment of our members,” says Dana DeLucia. “When Anthem, Aunt Bertha, and multiple community organizations come together, we’re able to support the community with resources that build resilience and empowerment; allowing members to then also focus on their clinical needs.”
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