Last December, in an article for Managed Healthcare Executive, Leanne Berge, CEO for Community Health Plan of Washington, introduced us to “Cindy” – a Medicaid patient suffering from diabetes with complications and an anxiety disorder. Further taxing Cindy’s health is a history of unstable housing; she also lives with her mother who has a substance abuse disorder and other health conditions. As we know, Cindy is not alone – there are millions like her lost in a system that fails to provide the kind of holistic care necessary for staying healthy, getting healthy, and living with illness. As Ms. Berge so aptly stated,

“Our fragmented approach to healthcare and focus on expenditures within the four walls of the hospital and specialist’s office is at the root of poor health outcomes, and has led to higher costs and poor patient experience.”

What’s great about this story, though, is its focus on the Smart Health Market in action – supporting Cindy in a way that optimizes her health and well-being. Smart Health Markets shift the focus from “sick care” to holistic health status by integrating social, spiritual, and behavioral conditions with our physical state. Cindy has access to a highly connected team that communicates with each other while addressing all aspects of her health – from chronic medical conditions, to housing and food needs, to opportunities for preventive care, and more.

The broader healthcare industry is taking notice. It’s been buzzing about the impact of social determinants – housing, food, transportation, etc. – on health, and many organizations are moving to integrate them quickly. We have a ways to go in terms of making whole-person care the norm, but progress is happening. Fortunately for Cindy, she lives in an area that was ahead of the game in that respect. She is receiving the holistic, integrated care she needs to live her best life possible, and that’s at the core of the Smart Health Market. [Read more about Cindy here.]

Interested in learning more about Smart Health Markets? Just download the white paper.