Business & Finance
MetroPlus Health Plan, NYC COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition, Partner to Connect 80,000 of Plan's Most At-Risk Members to Crucial Health and Social Services
10 June 2020 - - US-based MetroPlus Health Plan has launched a new member outreach programme, spearheaded by the NYC COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition and including AWS, Bain, and AirNYC, to help MetroPlusHealth address the growing health and social service needs of tens of thousands of its most at-risk members, the principals said.

The partnership was designed to establish a rapid interactive digital outreach program connecting vulnerable MetroPlusHealth members with their health plan and social services agencies to provide accelerated access to healthy food, social service supports, and health care.

Through the NYC COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition -- a collaboration among health care providers, insurers, social services groups, technology companies, and others created in March to help low-income New Yorkers weather the pandemic -- a partnership between MetroPlusHealth, AWS, Bain, and community-based AirNYC was formed.

Within days, a strategy and solution to reach out to tens of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers was born, with AWS volunteering to build a chatbot for the health plan, AirNYC offering to handle the social services screening, and Bain helping refine and improve the efficiency of the messaging.

Over the first three weeks in April, approximately 54,000 interactive text messages were sent to MetroPlusHealth members at high risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes.

Of the 9% of recipients who engaged with the chatbot, 55% confirmed they needed help and more than half of those were connected to a variety of services, including COVID-19 guidance, emotional support, pharmacy refills, virtual provider visits, food resources, housing security, unemployment assistance, and more.

At the end of April, MetroPlusHealth, under the direction of president and CEO Dr. Talya Schwartz, took over the program.

The MetroPlusHeath/AWS partnership has been spotlighted by Amazon in several ways. CEO Jeff Bezos recently highlighted the work in his annual shareholder letter and Amazon's industries blog published the code it created for this project, enabling others to utilize chatbots to access people who may be difficult to reach through more traditional methods.

Since 1985, MetroPlus Health Plan has built a reputation for providing access to affordable, quality health care to residents across New York City.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation's largest public health system, MetroPlusHealth is the plan of choice for over half a m New Yorkers and has a five-star rating based on the State's 2018 Consumer's Guide to Medicaid and Child Health Plus Managed Care Plans in New York City. The health plan's robust network of primary care doctors and specialists includes many independent community providers.

Culturally sensitive, and fluent in more than 40 languages, MetroPlusHealth's staff is as diverse as the great city it serves.