Hubs have the potential to serve as the primary coordinator of services and the cultivator of patient-consumer trust. They can collaborate with patients and their healthcare practitioners to streamline access to therapies, devices, and digital tools, as well as circumvent barriers to care like affordability, transportation, and insurance benefit navigation. In addition, hubs can provide specialized expertise when answering questions about complex devices, medications, and the management of their side effects.
Hubs are also platforms for centralizing the use of devices, tools, and resources developed by healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturers for plans, providers, patients, and their communication.
Through the timeliness of telehealth outreach, the hub team strives to position itself within the patient’s personal treatment and support network as a trusted advisor and “professional friend.” The team is helpful in navigating the administrative and clinical shoals of care. Optimally, data—consensually collected through various, innovative, digital portals—provide hub teams with information about the patient’s unique care journey. This creates opportunities to close gaps of information and misinformation and to decrease social isolation, an often overlooked social risk factor, by providing patients encouragement and personalized “nudges” based on behavioral science concepts.
For example, as part of continuous quality improvement processes led by this author, plans have developed algorithms that prompt telehealth outreach to patients, their clinicians, and caregivers, which activate networks of support and encouragement and identify risk factors as potential precipitants of adverse events. These initiatives were recognized as best practices by national quality organizations, such as the NCQA and eValue8.
As an additional consideration, hubs can aggregate data on SDoH and develop community resources that facilitate the patient journey. This data can be used to plan the development of population-based strategies that will support patients, providers, and payers in their efforts to optimize access and adherence to appropriate therapies and devices.
In summary, manufacturer initiatives addressing SDoH in support of adherence could not only recoup some manufacturer revenues lost to nonadherence, but through robust hub services, help close gaps in care by improving access to medications and devices; facilitating better clinical and medication management outcomes; reinforcing patient trust and loyalty by collaborative manufacturer, payer, and provider goodwill; and enhancing a manufacturer’s brand through comprehensive, centralized patient services offerings.
Ultimately, population health will progress to precision population health, supporting vulnerable populations through personalized interventions to mitigate adverse factors like social risk factors. To get there, coordinated, continuous services, greater collaboration and innovation—that is, the partnership of high-tech with soft-touch among all stakeholders—will be imperative.
Maureen Hennessey, PhD, CPCC, CPHQ, is senior vice president, director of value transformation with Precision for Value.