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Humana’s Bold Goal expands referral platforms to serve more communities 

A Silver Sneakers Group at the Chicago City Markets Kick-Off, one of the resources for food security offered on the NowPow platform 


In Kansas City, Humana and Community CareLink (CCL) launched a pilot program to rethink how emergency responders handle calls and provide better care for people experiencing homelessness. The pilot seeks to defer admittance to the emergency room if medically appropriate and place individuals in a residential facility where they can be treated for non-acute medical issues with the added benefit of stable housing while they are receiving care.   


This pilot was made possible by the Humana Social Health Access Referral Platform (SHARP) program strategy. The strategy kicked off in summer of 2019 and has been expanding through the communities Humana serves since then. SHARP is a set of tools that Humana has created through community partnerships that allow the company to screen customers for unmet social needs, such as food insecurity and housing, in an effort to advance health equity. The platform then provides referrals to service agencies near them that can help meet these needs.  This work is important to Humana because the company understands the negative impact unmet social needs can have on a person’s overall health.  


“Humana welcomed the opportunity to partner with CCL and Benilde Hall on this innovative approach to helping the homeless in the Kansas City community,” said Jeremy Gaskill, Humana’s central region president. “The findings of this study will help inform future initiatives to improve the well-being of the city.”  


Benilde Hall provides residential programming for individuals who are eligible for the pilot program. The facility provides services for substance use disorder and mental health issues for individuals experiencing homelessness with the goal of individuals gaining employment and permanent housing once they complete the program. The pilot allows for 60 days at a residential program. In the 10 months that the pilot that has been running, 50 individuals were deferred from emergency room treatment into a residential program at Benilde Hall.  


In addition to the partnership in Kansas City, Humana’s SHARP initiative also launched a partnership with NowPow to better address the social determinants of health for members in the Chicago area, another Humana Bold Goal community.  Humana employees screen members for unmet social needs, and the platform generates a list of personalized community resources, such as food delivery or social isolation support, that members can be referred to.  Humana and NowPow will monitor member outcomes following referrals, which will assist NowPow in understanding referral gaps and understand where network expansion is most needed.