A very interesting, newly released report from RAM Technologies Inc., is about a program entitled: SKIHA (Sharing Knowledge to Improve Healthcare Administration). This renowned tech company leads in the development of enterprise software for Special Needs health plans and Medicare Advantage, so let us take a closer look at what the company does, and how SHIKA’s excellent, practical suggestions, can help the health of seniors in today’s society.
Social Determinants of Health
In the last few years, this aspect of health has normally concentrated on issues such as those in need being able to attain healthy nutrition, and transportation. Yet, other less obvious social determinants, are also extremely important. Step forward social isolation and loneliness. These common states of being: “afflict all Americans – and Medicare beneficiaries in particular – driving up costs for isolated seniors at a rate similar to high blood pressure and arthritis”.
On the Rise
The Baby Boomers are now becoming seniors, and their numbers are adding to a growing dilemma, as this means that more and more individuals reaching an advanced age, are often living in isolation and feeling lonely. Many of them may not have family or friends nearby, and may not have the financial or other means to join social clubs, or partake in enjoyable things they would like to do. Tackling this unacceptable situation is regarded: “as a critical component of improving physical and mental health, and is of the utmost importance to Medicare Advantage health plans challenged with the difficult task of improving the quality of life for their members while reducing costs”.
The SKIHA program was initially set up in 2015. A spokesperson notes that this program offers: “an open platform to share industry analysis and research. Each month, it publishes special content, with unique insight and in-depth industry knowledge, to those in the position to enact real change. This open exchange of ideas supplies the information health plans need to improve operations, increase productivity and reduce costs”. Which in turn should benefit those who need help.
Introduction of New Models
In order to tackle the terrible social isolation and loneliness experienced by many seniors, Medicare Advantage health plans are leading the way by providing: “new models featuring increased innovation and flexibility to combat these social determinants”.
Loneliness & Social Isolation in MA
Anyone interested in this report which focuses on this region, can download it here. And while it only relates to one area, it is likely that there are a number of commonalities with other areas of the US. For example, it takes an up close look at: “the ways in which healthcare payers are identifying seniors in need, and the steps they are taking to forge more connected – and healthier – families and communities”.