Utica University Data-Based Research Uncovers New Socioeconomic Insights to Bridge Health Barriers and Improve Clinical Outcomes
FinThrive Provides Novel Data for Study Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
ALPHARETTA, Ga., March 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Utica University research examining communities in New York state has uncovered new socioeconomic insights that can be correlated to clinical outcomes. The findings can be leveraged by providers across healthcare to make formal recommendations to economic and data science teams, in an effort to create a more equitable healthcare experience.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Data for Action (HD4A) program funded the research, with spatial analysis provided by FinThrive, Inc., a healthcare revenue management software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. The study used FinThrive data to evaluate the demographics and family structures of New York households and identify specific neighborhoods that could benefit from more informed healthcare interventions. The insights enable researchers to observe specific factors including household arrangements that would impact a patient's ability to prioritize their health.
The findings demonstrate that demographics such as race and ethnicity, specifically Black and Hispanic/Latino Americans, as well as single-parent households have a direct relation to generational poverty. Generational poverty occurs when two or more generations living in a home or community have not advanced socioeconomic status, which affects all areas of life: financial, social, physical and emotional. Unlike traditional research using census or claims data, this project uses FinThrive socioeconomic data that provides a three-dimensional view, at both the individual and household level, helping to inform intervention programs to positively impact outcomes and reduce unnecessary healthcare spending. The study also found that government stimulus alone will not be enough to aid individuals who suffer from generational poverty to eventually achieve upward economic mobility.
Potential recommendations include stratifying the health and social services needs of their population with considerations for race, ethnicity and family structure. In addition, community programs should target "cold spots," defined as difficult-to-reach areas that treat populations generationally, within a given geography.
Other valuable use cases for these findings include:
Upstate Family Health Center in Utica, NY is an example of a provider that is benefiting from such data and research. "During the pandemic, e evolved as a community health center," said John Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of UFHC. "We saw a lot of behavioral and substance abuse issues, and it became clear that we needed specialized teams to address those areas." Using data and screenings as a guide, Milligan and his staff were able to implement patient-centric programs such as food drives to ensure that socioeconomic factors correlated to care delivery were addressed. "You can do all you want on the clinical side, but until you find the root of the problem you aren't going to get anywhere."
"Spearheading this research was a true honor," said Michael McCarthy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Data Science at Utica University. "I am so proud of the amazing team whose dedication, focus and unwavering humanistic approach allowed us to gain insight into the significant role generational poverty plays in health equity and the need to prioritize a patient's economic status in a meaningful way within healthcare."
"Census and claims data can be helpful in certain instances, but the value is undermined by out-of-date, incomplete or biased perspectives of a person's life," said John Yount, Chief Innovation Officer at FinThrive. "The FinThrive data shows all the activity happening outside of the healthcare setting. Layer that into a clinical workflow or apply to a housing/food distribution program for a diabetic Medicaid population, for example, and you can create opportunities to improve overall experience and reduce total medical costs. Our goal is to uncover insights that have a positive impact on US Healthcare, helping to support and drive health equity."
Continuing to utilize this data, the Utica University research team is expanding their analysis to include North Carolina, Arizona, California, Virginia and Texas. Results from these studies are forthcoming in 2023. FinThrive and Utica University will continue to publish findings as they become available.
About Upstate Family Health Center
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