Social Determinants of Health

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Valor HeathTech Corner, featuring Healthify’s Manik Bhat: Social Determinants of Health

For this month’s installment of the Valor HealthTech Corner, I sat down with Healthify Co-founder and CEO Manik Bhat. Healthify is the leading the way when it comes Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) software and is making a positive impact on vulnerable and underserved populations around the U.S. Enjoy!

-Drew Ramsey

Q:Tell me about Healthify and why you and your Co-founders started the company.
We're a mission driven company that helps organizations better address the social determinants of health. Many of us got our start at Johns Hopkins doing community health work in East Baltimore. We saw first hand how difficult it was to support families with the social services they needed. We wanted to fix that.

Q:You recently announced the acquisition of a competitor, Purple Binder. What does that mean for Healthify’s business and offering going forward?
We were very excited to find another mission aligned company in the space that had built a strong customer base and a network of key community based organizations. In addition, they had experience in launching public facing websites to find social services. These additions expanded our presence in a few markets and added another tool to our technology toolbox to support enterprise clients that want to provide more touch points to access our resource platform.

Q:When it comes to building your culture and acquiring talented people, can you tell us what Healthify is doing to differentiate?
Culture is very important to us here. We've spent a lot of time methodically building our values and a mission statement that is authentic and tied to the communities we have dedicated much of our working lives to. We are laser focused on making sure everyone has a purpose here and a path for personal growth and development, investing in things like education benefits.

Q: Your platform provides care teams with an assessment tool (Healthify Track) that identifies social and behavioral healthcare needs. How do those screenings work? – who is responsible for collecting that information and how do you ensure it is done effectively?
One of the core problems in the space is identifying social needs at scale. One of the ways to do this is via a social needs assessment. We deploy this tool via staff or send it out to be completed directly by a patient or their caregiver. The powerful thing about our platform is that we can take the assessment data and then match people to appropriate services.

Q: What socioeconomic factor(s) is Healthify finding to be the most challenging to address via technology? What about the simplest, if there is such a thing?
Housing is always the toughest domain to address due to low capacity and is usually the highest need. We've been actively working on ways to better integrate housing services into our network to make sure the connection to these services is as easy as possible. Food related services are easier to coordinate with but still suffer from constantly dwindling funding streams. We hope to change the way social services are paid for to support all the incredible community organizations doing great work across the nation.

Q:What strides are being made by software and technology companies in your space? What are you doing to stay out front?
We are really interested in how we can apply emerging technologies to the social determinants space. We've been exploring using predictive analytics to drive specific interventions and machine learning to improve the quality of our data asset. Being one of the earliest entrants in the space and the company with the most SDOH experience allows us to define how the space evolves in the future.

Q:What changes / improvements / major strides does Healthify have planned for 2018?
2018 is set to be our most exciting year yet. We plan to grow our world-class team and get more deeply involved with our partner's strategy in the social determinant space. Below are a few of things you will see us doing:

● Building strong interoperability models for shared social determinants of health histories
● Evolving workflows to put the patient at the center of addressing their unmet social needs
● Sharing best practices and standards on how to best navigate social service referrals
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●Predictive analytics to surface high-risk patients
●Continuing to build unique partnerships in the SDoH space
●Advocating for Community Based Partners and helping them develop clearer incentive models
●Supporting new care delivery models like AHC
●Investing in outcomes research for the SDoH space


About Healthify
 
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Powered by a mission to build a world where no one’s health is hindered by their need, Healthify delivers a leading solution that empowers organizations to find community services for their patients, track social needs across their population, and coordinate care with community-based services. As a partner to health plans, social service agencies, and provider networks working with Medicaid and Medicare members, Healthify enables integrated care to fulfill the promise of a value-based healthcare system and healthy communities. For more information, please visit www.healthify.us, or connect with us on LinkedInTwitter or Facebook.

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