SDOH: Partnering with Health Plans to Address Social Determinants
While transportation is considered a social determinant of health (SDoH) itself, did you know it can also be a great solution to address social determinants that fall into other categories? Transportation is critical, as it impacts almost every other social determinant by either providing or hindering access to socioeconomic services and destinations. Our Director of SDoH and Product Development Tamara Carlton is back to discuss how MTM takes transportation a step further by partnering with managed care organizations (MCOs) to remove community barriers and address social determinants.
MCOs and NEMT
Managed care is a health care delivery system organized to manage cost, utilization, and quality. It provides for the delivery of Medicaid health benefits and additional services through contracted arrangements between states and companies like MTM, the nation’s most experienced and qualified non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker.
MTM’s President and CEO Alaina Macia says, “MTM is best known for building and managing large transportation networks to deliver NEMT for managed care organizations and state and county governments. Through that work, we have developed unique procedures and technologies that align incentives, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction in the healthcare arena.”
Through these partnerships, MTM has the ability to:
- Launch new services
- Address prevalent social determinants of health
- Assist health plans in managing home healthcare
- Reduce hospital readmissions
- Reduce long term cost of care
Expanding Transportation Benefits
How can transportation help? NEMT is increasingly used not only for Medicaid members, but also in other government programs and private health insurance markets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes transportation options as social determinants of health in its Health People 2022 initiative, highlighting the important role transportation will continue to play past Medicaid. HealthAffairs says, “Government and private-sector payers increasingly recognize that providing transportation to routine health care improves health outcomes and limits unnecessary expenses, such as hospitalization costs.”
Many Federal offices have proposed increasing NEMT benefits as they value the long-term positive impact on member health. The need for transportation benefits is in clear demand. In 2015 alone, the National Library of Medicine said low-income patients used 59 million rides for medical appointments, and that number only continues to increase. Lack of transportation is a direct correlation to barriers in receiving healthcare. It is important for MCOs to continue to fight for additional benefits, allowing more access to life changing transportation resources.
MTM: the Sustainable and Reliable NEMT Solution
Between continued efforts focused on sustainability, cost effective care, member-first mentality, and more, MTM strives to positively impact SDoH nationwide. Duane Williams, our Director, Regional Operations says, “Social determinants of health have a significant impact on the members MTM serves – I see it every day.” He continued, “Knowing MTM is proactively innovating with technology and transportation to address these determinants and help clients make an impact on their population makes me proud!”
MTM holds the key to success. While many organizations recognize that social determinants of health have a long term impact on health outcomes and cost of care, MTM is taking action to help MCOs address social determinants to positively impact health outcomes. Launching services that target specific groups based on socioeconomic determinants, such as member prenatal care, or targeting specific services, such as assisting members in their own homes, MTM thinks outside the box to provide customizable solutions catered to our clients’ and members’ unique needs. MTM is ready to be your transportation hero!