Data can be a catalyst for greater community health

Data has transformed nearly every sector of American life, from the way we do business to the entertainment we consume. But it’s also a major driver in health care. The right data, in the hands of the right people in a community, may mean interventions in care that can not only improve individual health, but the heath of a community.

With this goal in mind, UnitedHealthcare launched UnitedHealthcare Catalyst, which convenes a wide range of community partners across different sectors to develop joint community health goals. It then leverages and aligns UnitedHealthcare’s and its partner’s capabilities and expertise to tackle specific health needs in each community. So far, UnitedHealthcare Catalyst encompasses 23 community partnerships, with 10 focused on engaging public housing authorities.

UnitedHealthcare is engaging with a multitude of organizations including:

  • Public housing agencies (PHAs)
  • Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs)
  • Community-based organizations (CBOs)

Each organization has a shared commitment to serve as a catalyst to close gaps in care, address health equity challenges and promote a greater positive health impact in local communities.

By analyzing anonymized claims data, community health data and firsthand information and insights  from people in the community, we are able to understand and identify the most pressing health challenges. Then, together, we develop a collaborative community plan to address the needs — and eventually track progress and outcomes. The interventions are customized to the community and may include programs with trauma-informed care trainings, virtual services, multilingual educational materials and social services support.

To date, the priority challenges identified include:

  • Food insecurity
  • Health disparities such as health literacy and maternal and women’s health
  • Behavioral and mental health
  • Homelessness
  • Access to health care
  • Chronic disease and diabetes management

“The needs of communities are as diverse as the communities themselves, and in order to best impact health outcomes in communities, we are creating approaches that are rooted in data and also reflect the perspectives of the people that live and work in the community,” said Catherine Anderson, senior vice president of policy and strategy, UnitedHealthcare Community & State. “UnitedHealthcare is well-positioned to bring the right partners together to align primary and behavioral health with social needs, creating initiatives that not only improve health outcomes but also provide for equitable care for all.”

This UnitedHealthcare Catalyst initiative is one part of an ongoing effort by UnitedHealthcare to address health equity, promote positive health outcomes and expand access to care to all. The company is also investing in programs and partnerships focused on food, transportation and social isolation, including $80 million to fight the pandemic and support populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Sign up to get the latest news from the UnitedHealthcare Newsroom