HEALTH PARTNER PLANS: Groundbreaking Partnership Connects Homeless People to Vital Health Care Services

Health Partners Plans issued the following announcement on Feb. 15.

Health Partners Plans (HPP), a leading managed care organization, Broad Street Ministry (BSM) and Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers announced a groundbreaking collaboration today that greatly improves access to quality health care for individuals who are struggling with homelessness and chronic health conditions.

BSM is a not-for-profit organization that provides concierge services to individuals facing food and housing insecurity. BSM staff help guests, who may be homeless, obtain identification, mail services, clothing, personal care items, and general medical and legal assistance all while receiving access to nutritious meals. BSM is now expanding its service with a Philadelphia FIGHT satellite clinic that provides medical care and social services for people living with HIV and those at high risk for it. HPP is supporting this initiative by providing Philadelphia FIGHT with a full-time HPP social worker.

“Finding innovative ways to remove barriers to health care and increase access to resources drives every decision we make at HPP,” says President and CEO William S. George. “This groundbreaking partnership reflects each organization’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations while providing much-needed comprehensive wrap-around services that many homeless people lack.”

As the first Pennsylvania managed care organization to provide nutritious meals to its medically at-risk members at no cost to them through its innovative “Food as Medicine” program, HPP has established itself as a leader in addressing social barriers to care for low-income individuals struggling with chronic conditions.

BSM is dedicated to “radical hospitality.” For the last 13 years, Broad Street Ministry has been serving community meals in a safe and welcoming atmosphere for men and women who are experiencing homelessness, are low-income or are at risk of becoming homeless. The relationships developed during meals often lead to a greater willingness for visitors to access stabilizing social services.

“We connect our guests with critical services that many take for granted, like clothing and mail service that provides an address of record for those lacking one,” said Mike Dahl, executive director of Broad Street Ministry. “Our partnership with HPP and Philadelphia FIGHT will further expand our concierge services, particularly those related to barriers to health care, for our guests.”

Nearly 500 of HPP’s members use BSM’s mail service. HPP believes there may be many others who don’t use the mailing address but who may visit Broad Street Ministry for meals and other services. The partnership with Philadelphia FIGHT and BSM will help strengthen HPP’s outreach to some of its most vulnerable and transient members, increase their access to care and improve their health outcomes.

“We see this collaboration as a natural point of synergy,” said Jane Shull, chief executive officer of Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers. “Through this partnership, we will increase our capacity to meet the needs of Broad Street Ministry guests, who may be our patients or HPP members, to access the medical care and social services they need.”

Original source can be found here.

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