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The Vivent Health Medical Home Model of Care: Doing the Right Thing is Also Good Business

Category:
  • Health Care

It’s no secret that people find our Nation’s health care system lacking. At Vivent Health, we’ve created a Medical Home Model of Care that’s been extremely successful. One of the most valuable lessons has been that doing the right thing is also good business.

Here’s why our unique HIV Medical Home model of care works so well and how it could serve as an example to other health service providers.

Health Care Isn’t Designed for Wellness

Health care in America is struggling on many fronts, including access, quality, and cost. And while there are no easy answers, we can all agree that everyone should have access to care—no one wants people needlessly sick or dying.

Medical providers are often disappointed that we’re not getting better quality outcomes across the health care continuum, as found in other developed nations. Patients and providers alike are frustrated with those annual increases in health care costs and insurance premiums.

At Vivent Health, we’ve developed a model that addresses all three of these challenges. We provide unfettered access to care, even though about one-third of our patients have no health care coverage at all. We achieve some of the finest quality outcomes known to humankind. And we’re saving the health care system millions of dollars every year through our unique HIV Medical Home model of care.

Vivent Health is America’s only HIV Medical Home. It’s a way of describing how we integrate health and social services to create one seamless health care safety net. We offer the traditional services you expect from a health care provider, including medical and dental care, mental health, and pharmacy. But we’re also supporting our patients as they face social determinants of health—barriers to care like hunger and homelessness, poverty and prejudice, illness, and isolation—that can prevent people from accessing the medical care they need and preclude them from living long, healthy lives.

At Vivent Health, our integrated services model includes housing programs, legal assistance, a food pantry, and prevention services that overcome social determinants of health and help individuals successfully manage and prevent HIV.

Vivent Health has been uniquely successful in implementing the Medical Home model, perhaps because Vivent Health began as a social services organization rather than as a health care organization.

Addressing Inequality in Health Care

Tragically, four decades into the HIV epidemic, people who access our services often face discriminatory incidents throughout their lives.

A recent patient of ours comes to mind. The same company had employed him for about nine years and recently got a promotion, which speaks to the quality of his work. A few weeks after that promotion, he had to take the afternoon off to get medical attention. When he explained to his boss why he needed the time off and was HIV positive, his boss’s response was unconscionable. He said, “take your disease and get the hell out of here.”

That’s where the Medical Home model of care provided support for him on several fronts. On the day our patient was fired, he also lost access to health insurance. For someone without support, this experience could be not only devastating but lethal.

At Vivent Health, we provide care regardless of one’s insurance status or ability to pay, so our patients could still access care. After the shock of losing his job in that abrupt and terrible way, we were able to help him access our mental health services to process the experience. Our legal services are representing him in his discrimination claim.

When you lose your income, you often lose the most basic needs as well. Our food pantry and our housing assistance programs ensure our patients won’t end up hungry or homeless.

The Secret to Vivent Health’s Success

How have we been successful while so many other providers have struggled to provide holistic services, particularly with a challenging patient population? We hold to the tenet that doing the right thing is also good business.

We began as a social service organization rather than as a health care provider, so we understand how to comprehensively address the social determinants of health for our patients and clients. We’ve created an outstanding team of professionals; doctors, dentists, mental health therapists, pharmacists, social workers, and attorneys collaborating in real-time to meet all the needs of our patients and clients.

The results of our Medical Home model of care have been exceptional. At HIV specialty clinics across America, about 80% of patients have an undetectable viral load—the gold standard in the care of HIV patients. We’re proud to report that at Vivent Health, the percentage of our patients who achieve an undetectable viral load is 95%, well above the national average.

The viral load is essential for two reasons—it means that the patient is as healthy as possible, and the patient can’t transmit HIV to others. So, we’re not only taking care of our own, but we’re also taking care of the community’s health by preventing new HIV infections.

Additionally, our patients also fare better. According to data, Vivent Health patients are 50% less likely to visit the emergency room, 52% less likely to be hospitalized, and if they are hospitalized, their hospital stays will be 10% shorter.

Finally, our unique model of care saves money. According to an audit of health claims data, Vivent Health has saved the health care system more than $100 million in medical costs. The Vivant Medical Home model of care is better for patients. Better for communities. Better for the health system. This is how Vivent Health helps everyone thrive together.

Author(s):
Mike Gifford
President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Gifford has been a leading force in the fight against AIDS in the United States for three decades. He currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vivent Health. During…