CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (February 14, 2017)—Senior Whole Health (SWH), which helps keep low-income seniors living independently at home by providing comprehensive health care and support services, enrolled its 20,000th member in February.
“We’re excited to be able to help thousands of seniors live at home with independence and dignity,” said SWH Chairman and CEO Wayne Lowell. “Our patient-centered approach has also served as a national model as the health care industry seeks to both improve outcomes and lower costs.”
SWH, which operates in Massachusetts and New York, is considered a Senior Care Options (SCO) plan, which provides health care to dual eligibles—people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, which is known in Massachusetts as Mass Health.
SWH provides a single point of access to the health care system and an individualized care plan that uses a mix of medical, social and community-based services to keep seniors healthy and independent.
“We provide not just medical care, but the supports our members need to stay healthy, from transportation to medical appointments to help with prescriptions to exercise classes,” said Lowell.
A priority for SWH is language and cultural sensitivity. SWH’s nursing and customer support staffs are multi-lingual so that they can communicate in the 50 different languages spoken by SWH members.
“The health care system is difficult enough to access in your own language. Cultural and language barriers can have a significant, adverse impact on health, even more so than educational disparities,” Lowell said.
Besides keeping seniors healthier, SWH’s approach is saving taxpayer dollars by reducing nursing home admissions. Per a study by Health Management Associates for the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, SCO plans are saving Massachusetts $65.9 million annually. SWH estimates that it is saving Massachusetts $38,000 per patient per year by providing necessary services to keep people in their homes
“Traditional insurance companies have been perceived as saving money by reducing care. Our model relies on holding down costs by providing appropriate care at the right time in the right setting—in other words, by keeping people healthy,” said Lowell.
Visit seniorwholehealth.com for more information.