Priority Health connecting more members to critical social services through expansion of online program
(Grand Rapids, Mich. – April 21, 2021) Priority Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today that it has greatly expanded its free Priority Health Connect resource, an online platform designed to connect individuals in the community with free and reduced-cost programs and critical social services. Previously only available to Medicaid members, the recent expansion has now made the program accessible to all of Priority Health's nearly one million members in the state of Michigan.
Priority Health Connect, created in partnership with Aunt Bertha, allows members to instantly search for the resources that they need within their zip code, including services like housing support, legal assistance, COVID-19 programs, access to healthy foods, and childcare. Agencies across the state can list their free or low-cost services for free within the platform. There are more than 6,800 programs currently available in the state of Michigan on Priority Health Connect.
"There are so many helpful community resources out there, but sometimes the biggest challenge is navigating the system, and Priority Health Connect cuts out all of the clutter and creates a simple process," said Sheila Wilson, Director of Care Management at Priority Health. "This platform allows those seeking resources to self-serve, but to also know that they will have the dignity of a timely response from those providing the services. It's important to remember that social needs like housing and access to food can be just as critical to someone's health as visiting the doctor or getting the right medication."
Because Priority Health Connect can uniquely address health inequities and social determinants of health (SDoH), Priority Health made the decision to expand the program to all of its members. The insurer has also recently launched several other initiatives taking aim at health inequities, including provider incentives for those tracking patient data related to SDoH, $1.8 million in grant commitments to Southeast Michigan communities through the Total Health Care Foundation, and a new web presence dedicated to education around SDoH and Priority Health's efforts in this space.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SDoH are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes. Social factors that may be impacting health outcomes include things like access to transportation, food, and childcare, or employment status, personal safety, and finances.
Priority Health Connect is a free service provided to members through their Priority Health plan can be accessed by visiting priorityhealth.com/connect. The insurer is also encouraging its provider partners to direct their patients in need of social services to the webpage. To get started, members can simply search for resources by using their zip code, or they can create an account by clicking "sign in", where they can access additional features. The program is available from any internet-enabled computer, tablet or mobile device.