CVS Health enhances Guardian Angel program in North Carolina
CVS Health is enhancing the “Guardian Angel” program, which is designed to help individuals who suffer an opioid-related overdose in North Carolina.
In the state, the program now will be supported by the company’s collaboration with Unite Us, a leading social care coordination platform.
Through this joint venture, clinical case managers can use the Unite Us network of social services to connect individuals with such nonclinical support that can aid their recoveries as community resources to help with housing, food insecurity and financial assistance.
“The Guardian Angel program already has a high engagement rate of about 50% because it connects with people in a compassionate way during the time when they need it most,” said Daniel Knecht, CVS Health vice president, health strategy and innovation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people die every day from opioid overdoses. For those individuals who suffer an overdose and are fortunate enough to survive, the event can serve as a turning point on the road to recovery.
“We recognize that whether a person is successfully able to fight addiction is not solely determined by the medical treatment that they receive. Through the Unite Us network of social care providers, people can more easily access support within their community and have a better chance of recovery,” Knecht said.
Since the Guardian Angel program was launched by Aetna in 2018, clinical case managers have connected with nearly 1,000 Aetna members who have suffered an overdose as well as their families, providing education and resources around the effectiveness of evidence-based addiction treatment. Members who have been contacted live in every part of the country and range in age from 16 to 79 years old.
The clinical case managers that participate in the Guardian Angel program will also be a part of the NCCARE360 network in North Carolina.
NCCARE360 is the first statewide network that unites health care and human services organizations with a shared technology, Unite Us, that enables a coordinated, community-oriented, person-centered approach for delivering care, and is planned to be available statewide by the end of 2020.
In addition to integrating the Guardian Angel and Unite Us programs in North Carolina, CVS Health and Unite Us also launched programs in New Orleans and Tampa Bay, Florida to help Aetna’s Medicaid and Dual Eligible members more easily access social services within their community.
Working with Unite Us, Aetna’s Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan members in these communities can receive help from a wide range of services through local organizations - transportation, food assistance and meal delivery, adult daycare, employment services and housing support, among others.
“Improving health starts at the community level, and most of that work needs to take place outside of a doctor’s office,” said Garth Graham, vice president, community health & impact, CVS Health. “Our collaboration with Unite Us allows us to support some of the most vulnerable members of the community, providing them with the local resources that they need to improve their everyday lives.”
CVS Health’s continued work with Unite Us is a key component of Destination: Health, a series of business programs focused on helping people improve their health outside of a clinical setting.
“We’re excited and inspired by the progress and impact of the Destination Health initiative as it expands through the country,” said Taylor Justice, co-founder and president of Unite Us. “It is encouraging to see the local community support as our teams continue to launch networks in Tampa and New Orleans to support Aetna’s DSNP members, as well as combining the Guardian Angel and Unite Us programs in North Carolina.”