Health Partners Plans (HPP), a managed care organization, Broad Street Ministry and Philadelphia FIGHT, have formed an innovative collaboration to improve health care access for people struggling with homelessness and chronic health conditions.
The partnership was announced during a press conference held Friday morning at Broad Street Ministry (BSM), a nonprofit organization that serves more than 6,000 individuals annually who face food and housing insecurity. For the last 13 years, BSM has been serving community meals in a welcoming atmosphere for people who are experiencing homelessness, are low-income or are at risk for becoming homeless.
“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 BSM.
“Our partnership with HPP and Philadelphia FIGHT will further expand our concierge services, particularly those related to barriers to health care, for our guests.“
Throughout the new collaboration, Philadelphia FIGHT is providing medical and dental care at a satellite clinic located on site at BSM.
HPP is supporting this initiative by providing Philadelphia FIGHT with a full-time social worker.
“This trailblazing approach, we believe will improve the vulnerable populations in the city by providing much needed comprehensive care that homeless people don’t get,” said William S. George, president and CEO of HPP.
“Even though we don’t believe that anyone else has done this, we are quite confident that we will improve access, improve care and ultimately for the tax payer, improve costs of caring for this very vulnerable population.”
Nearly 500 of HPP’s members use BSM’s mail service. HPP believes there may be 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 and improve their health outcomes.
“We think this is pioneering,” said Jane Shull, CEO of Philadelphia FIGHT of the collaborative effort.
“We think this is going to be a model for the whole state – maybe it will be a model for the whole country. It is really important that we do find ways — not to be so siloed – to have health care providers like us be able to work with providers of food and other immediate need services.”
The partnership was hailed by Teresa Miller, the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
City Councilwoman Helen Gym presented a citation during the press conference recognizing the organizations for increasing access to health care services for the city’s most vulnerable population.
“Collaborations like these address social determinants of health that affect so many of the individuals that we serve,” Miller said.
“The Wolf administration is committed to finding innovative ways to address the barriers that many of our recipients face and this community-based partnership to improve the health and well being of these individuals does that.”