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January 12, 2022

Pioneering outcomes-based financing project aims to advance healthcare reform

Northern Trust is helping to fund a $4.75 million comprehensive home-based asthma program to improve quality of life for 850 New York City children and adults on Medicaid.

The project, known as the New York Healthy Homes Collaborative, aims to ease the burden on hospitals strained by COVID-19, provide relief to Black and Hispanic communities inequitably impacted by the pandemic as well as asthma, and advance healthcare reform by presenting a replicable model for addressing social determinants of health through third-party financing.

“Northern Trust is committed to a social impact strategy designed to break down barriers and create more equitable opportunities and outcomes,” said Kimberly Evans, Northern Trust’s head of Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact.

The effort will use private sector, outcome-based financing to fund services that address the social determinants of health and improve health and social outcomes. In the process, it will shift financial risk away from Medicaid, as federal health care dollars will only be spent if the services are successful in their mission to avoid preventable emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Ruth Ann Norton, the president and CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), which along with Northern Trust is providing impact investment capital, said “What Northern Trust is doing here will have a generational impact on reducing health and racial disparities, set families up for better success and will serve a critical advancement in healthcare reform.”

GHHI built the project’s cross-sector partnership that, in addition to Northern Trust, includes Affinity by Molina Healthcare, AIRnyc, Association for Energy Affordability, Primary Care Development Corporation, with support from Dorsey & Whitney and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“We are pleased to support the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative through our community investments as an innovative, sustainable way to improve the quality of life of children and adults suffering from asthma,” Evans added.

The services to be funded over four years, as Affinity transitions to a self-funded model, include multiple in-home or virtual visits to offer the asthma patients customized education and supplies for self-management, integrated pest management, and a range of home repairs to remove indoor asthma triggers—for which Medicaid does not currently reimburse.

Utilizing value-based payment contracts, Affinity by Molina Healthcare will repay the investment from cost savings that accrue to its Medicaid programs from improvements in participants’ asthma outcomes. Partners estimate the program will produce nearly $6.5 million in total healthcare cost savings. 

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