RISE’s annual summit will be held live in Nashville on March 20-22. This year’s event has more content than ever before with three preconference workshops, three content tracks, a record-breaking lineup of more than 80 speakers, and 28 thought-provoking sessions. Ahead of the summit, RISE spoke to a few of the esteemed speakers set to take the stage next month. Here’s a sneak peek at the push button topics they plan to address.

A panel discussion highlighting innovative funding mechanisms to address SDoH

Cross-sector collaboration is critical to addressing social determinants of health (SDoH), and that includes the funding behind the initiatives, explained Stuart Butler, senior fellow, Brookings Institute, who will be a panelist during the general session, Innovative Financing Mechanisms to Address SDoH, on the morning of the first main day of the conference. The panel will share their perspectives on creative financing models, how organizations are building SDoH incentives into value-based agreements, and the outlook for reimbursement in 2022.

When it comes to collaborative funding to address SDoH, trust is an important component, noted Butler. “There’s always going to be this pressure, this desire to have more money in the system,” he said. “It’s a dilemma in a way. People want to see more money coming in, but they’re nervous about who it’s coming from and what the agenda is of the funders. To get the equation right, on financing, trust is so critical. Looking at a variety of ways to build trust around addressing SDoH is key to do it at a large scale and to do it effectively.”

One approach to overcoming a lack of trust in collaboration, according to Butler, is by working with intermediaries and local hubs to link together financing through the health sector to establish more local support and local trust.

As an example of a creative funding mechanism at the local level, Jan Ruma, BS, MEd, CFRE, president & CEO, Pathways Community HUB Institute, who will join Butler as a panelist during the session, will discuss her organization’s financing structure, a pay-for-performance model that leverages a network of community health workers to connect residents to the resources they need.

“People do what they’re paid for and, unfortunately, in health care we’re paid to do a lot of activities that don’t lead to an outcome,” said Ruma. “The Pathways Community HUB Institute Model℠ is an early adopter of value-based pay-for-performance addressing health care access and social determinants of health. Payment is not tied to the process but tied to achieving a specific outcome and documenting it for a greater understanding.”

Ruma will share further details about the financing model and how it works when she returns as a speaker during the track session, A Sustainable Community Care Coordination Model That Works: A Look into the Pathways Community HUBs, at 3:15 p.m. on Monday, March 21.

A case study of California’s largest academic direct-to-consumer on-demand telemedicine program

In late 2019, UC Davis Health embarked on creating a direct-to-consumer telemedicine program to improve access and equity throughout California by enabling patients access to the care they needed using a digital platform. Since inception, the program has become the largest direct-to-consumer telemedicine program in California, now seeing any patient regardless of their location, language, or insurance status.

Early in the journey, however, those charged with overseeing the program realized there were populations disproportionately using the program compared to others, explained Joshua Elder, M.D., MPH, MHS, telehealth medical director, UC Davis Health. As a result, they sought to create an equity specific focus and program that could reach communities they had yet to engage and better incorporate all populations of care.

“The idea was quite basic but profound—how can we further engage FQHCs, communities, and populations we’re not seeing at a high level throughout our program and incorporate digital health navigation and IT tools to further enhance opportunities to engage those populations,” said Elder.

Elder credits the success of the program to a collaborative matrix approach among operations, IT, and longstanding community partnerships. “What we’re seeing is that by creating access, we are forging a different type of collaborative environment within our regional health infrastructure, so instead of having siloed care of FQHCs and regular hospitals, we are breaking those barriers down,” he said.

“If we are going to rely on a virtual or digital health space—which we’ve had to—we need true value to emerge in that space. We need it as people because we need real connection. We’re not going to replace in-person connection, but if we’re going to do it and we’re going to rely on it, we need to create real value there. And it’s been a real goal of ours, but it needs to be a real goal of our society.”

Elder will be joined by UC Davis Health’s Tamara Scott, MS, innovation program manager, and Daniel Stein, MS, MA, PMP, telehealth supervisor, to present learnings from the direct-to-consumer on-demand telemedicine program during the Track B session at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 21.

Do you have a question about the program you’d like answered live during the session? Send it directly to madamsky@risehealth.org in advance of the session.

The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health

A look at RWJBarnabas Health’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization

In a commitment to address racism as a SDoH, RWJBarnabas Health declared itself an anti-racist organization in November 2020.

“Between COVID-19 and disparities being magnified, our organization already being on the journey to some degree, and then the social injustices, we realized that we needed to do more,” said DeAnna Minus-Vincent, MPA, executive vice president, chief social justice & accountability officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “It’s one thing to be committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion—having people around the table is one thing—but when you still have an underlying of systemic racism that leads to such poor health outcomes, we are not going to change until we take an active stance on changing the policies and the undergirding. And that is the stance that we took.”

The mission to end racism together is an organizational system change effort with a dedicated board committee comprised of leadership from the top, explained Minus-Vincent, noting the organization initiated a year-long discovery phase collecting quantitative and qualitative data from focus groups, focus interviews, hospitals, patient and employee data, and federal, state, and local data to truly understand the problems and the necessary solutions. Their findings led to four goals within the organization:

  1. Patient and clinical care: Ensure equitable care to all patients
  2. Workforce: Provide all employees, including contracted physicians, with an equitable place to work where their voices can be heard
  3. Community: Extend the organization’s social impact work and anchor mission
  4. Operations: Implement processes, procedures, and behaviors to become an anti-racist organization

It was also during the discovery phase that the organization began having uncomfortable conversations through their monthly educational sessions, Equitable Encounters: Real Talk About Race, said Minus-Vincent. “Everyone is accountable, not just a single department, not just leadership. It is all of us because if it was up to one or two people or only people of color, it would’ve’ been solved by now.”

Minus-Vincent will share more about RWJBarnabas Health’s efforts to become an anti-racist organization during the session, A Health Care Provider’s Mission to End Racism as a Social Determinant – A Story of RWJ Barnabas Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization, during Track B at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, March 21.

The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health will take place March 21-22, with preconference workshops on March 20, at The Omni Nashville in Nashville, Tenn. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend the event. Click here to see the full conference agenda, list of speakers, and how to register. Click here for our health and safety protocols.