Zing Health to launch tech-driven approach to tackle SDOH

Zing Health Choice IL will launch a new “hands-on, data-driven approach” to address the social determinants of health its members are facing.

The tech-enabled Medicare Advantage HMO plan’s SDOH program will kick off in January, and will be available to all residents of Cook County—which represents much of the Chicago metropolitan area—older than age 65.

"We believe that the U.S. healthcare system often focuses on the wrong priorities,” says Eric Whitaker, Zing’s CEO and co-founder. “Academic studies show over 80 percent of a patient's health is determined by factors other than the clinical health services they receive. Instead, it's critical to improve our members' social determinants of health, such as their access to family and friends, transportation, housing and nutritious food."

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Zing Health was formed last August by Silicon Valley-based Health2047, a company co-founded by the American Medical Association to address issues in chronic care, value-based care, data and productivity.

"Zing Health is uniquely positioned to transform value-based care thanks to its innovative approach, its laser focus on service delivery and its tech-enabled platform that works alongside members and physicians," says Lawrence Cohen, CEO of Health2047. "Isolated point solutions in healthcare are not enough—we need effective, transformational change from forward-thinking companies like Zing Health which focus on the entire healthcare ecosystem and address inadequacies, deliver value and produce better outcomes."

Zing says it plans to co-locate healthcare providers with community partners to collect “real-time, on-the-ground data” about members. By partnering with community organizations and clinics, Zing Health's clinical care teams can connect members to lower-cost or overlooked local services, the company says.

The approach will help Zing’s members achieve the best health possible by ensuring they can access convenient, effective and comprehensive care, Whitaker says.

Community health experts will work with Zing in the community to create individual care plans for members, help answer member questions and follow up on care. Zing’s clinical teams will address contributing SDOH issues, such as: housing quality, food availability, access to transportation and racial and gender inequality. The clinical teams will also make house call to identify asthma triggers, Zing says.

Zing members will each have a health team that includes a medical provider, a nurse, a behavioral health specialist and a community health worker. Twenty-found hour nurse advice lines will be available, as well as telehealth video services.

Zing Health's team of caregivers takes the time to get to know members' health needs and goals, the HMO says, which plans to remove authorization barriers and give doctors more support in delivering care and guiding outcomes.

Zing Health is the third company to spin out of Health2047. The company's first spin out, Akiri, is building a cloud-based, peer-to-peer network to enable trusted data exchange across the complex U.S. healthcare economy. Health2047's second spinout, First Mile Care, is a preventive chronic care company building an affordable, scalable and sustainable platform to reverse prediabetes.

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