What You Should Know:
– The governor of Virginia announced that the state will allocate $10 million from the federal CARES Act to implement a statewide integrated technology platform, Unite Virginia designed to connect vulnerable Virginians to crucial health and social services.
– Unite Virginia will utilize the Unite Us platform to create a statewide coordinated care network to help government agencies, health care providers, and community-based partners ensure medical care and social services are appropriately delivered to Virginians, identify gaps in the system to better target resources, supporting ongoing COVID-19 response/recovery, reduce barriers to care, and advance health equity.
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will allocate $10M in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to create Unite Virginia, a statewide technology platform designed to connect vulnerable Virginians to health and social services. Powered by Unite Us, a technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and social service providers, the Commonwealth will implement an integrated e-referral system that unites government agencies, health care providers, and community-based partners and supports Virginia’s continuing COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Unite Us Network
Unite Us provides unifying infrastructure between health care providers and community-based organizations as the foundation for social care transformation at scale. With networks in more than 40 states, Unite Us is the statewide technology platform in North Carolina and the company is developing programs similar to what is planned in Virginia in communities in Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and South Dakota. In Virginia, Unite Us already powers networks in the Hampton Roads and Shenandoah Valley regions. When fully established, this network will be an integral part of the Commonwealth’s broader public health framework.
This initial funding allocation will cover startup and implementation costs to operate the e-referral system, which can integrate with widely used electronic medical record systems in place at hospitals, health systems, and medical practice groups across Virginia. Establishing those links will enable health care providers to refer patients to social service organizations that can provide other supports such as food, transportation assistance, housing, employment services, and more. In turn, participating organizations will be able to refer patients and clients to each other.
This interconnected approach also increases the likelihood that vulnerable Virginians will access support services to manage their health conditions and the environmental factors that contribute to them. Data insights gleaned from the integrated technology platform will help state government, providers, and other partners identify critical needs and better focus efforts to serve these Virginians.
“The ongoing and widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need to unite traditional health care settings and community organizations that address social determinants of health,” said Governor Northam. “This is about connecting people with the supports they need to live healthy lives. Having this critical infrastructure in place will also position our Commonwealth to better respond to and recover from the twin public health and economic crises we face, and advance health equity by ensuring medical care and social services are appropriately delivered to Virginians, reducing barriers to care, and identifying gaps to better our target resources.”