Let’s investigate the benefits of

shifting from a

hub-and-spoke model

to an open-channel approach.

Here at Unite Us, we understand that each community has its own unique relationships, silos, and barriers to care.

With this in mind, we work with each of our partners to determine the best way to implement a coordinated care network in their community. Before we launch a new network, we thoroughly learn from the existing relationships in the community to make sure we understand what the network has to build upon.

The Hub-and-Spoke Model

Most networks on our platform begin with what we call a hub-and-spoke model. In this model, a community organization, usually called a coordination center, helps facilitate referrals throughout the network, determining where each client’s need will be handled. This is effective because it supports the network’s members while they are adjusting to the new type of care delivery – new relationships, new channels of communication, and new workflows. Giving the coordination center the ability to understand and encourage each network partner’s engagement helps ensure that all partners are accountable, acting on referrals in a timely manner, and efficiently delivering the care that their clients need. This accountability is an essential piece of properly coordinating care, as trust built on a personal level is the foundation of trust between organizations and systems across the continuum. This is why our technology connects humans to humans.

More Complex Models

As a network matures, engagement between partners naturally increases at different rates. Once a certain degree of engagement is reached, it often makes sense for the network to adopt a provider-to-provider model. This allows service providers in the network to send referrals directly to other partner organizations and to build on relationships they may already have had with other network partners. Many of our networks thrive in a hybrid model where partners are able to send referrals anywhere in this constellation of providers, or if they aren’t sure where a referral should go, to a coordination center who will handle that referral.

To learn more about the unique benefits of a hybrid model, we took a peek into one of our New York-based networks, the Healthy Together Referral Network.

Healthy Together is sponsored by Alliance for Better Health, a New York State DSRIP-funded Performing Provider System serving the Medicaid and uninsured community members spanning Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Fulton, Montgomery, and Saratoga counties.

Alliance for Better Health

Healthy
Together

has one coordination center supporting their six-county region which helps facilitate referrals from one network partner to another and following up on network referrals where needed. The network recently adopted a hybrid model and have been seeing immense success since the shift.

In the first month of implementing this model, we’ve seen:

159

increase in clients added to the network

142

increase in total referrals

54

of referrals were provider-to-provider

23

increase in partner engagement in the network

Every coordinated care network that we work with is constantly growing and adapting.

In the Healthy Together network, it’s clear that opening up referral capabilities has improved partner engagement across the board.

We’ve illuminated a few things here:
  1. Opening up referral channels between partners in a network can allow them to maintain the community relationships they’ve worked hard to build and help them build relationships with new partners, overall helping them feel more connected in the network.
  2. When partners feel more connected to each other in a network, it can increase their engagement in and use of the network, and consequently their clients are more engaged in the network.
  3. More engaged clients lead to more connections made to address their needs more efficiently.

We love watching our partnership with the Healthy Together Referral Network evolve and grow. Huge thanks to the Alliance for Better Health team for all their dedication to this work.

To learn more about how we’re coordinating care across the country:

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