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Seeing What Others Can’t: Our Nurses Make a Difference Close to Home

By Paymon Farazi on 5/6/24 10:46 AM

By visiting health plan members in their homes, our Signify Health nurses get a more complete picture of the factors driving someone’s health and can better design human-centered care engagement strategies that keep people healthy and connected to their care. 

Offering comfort and compassion, expertise, and empathy, nurses are the lifeblood of the nation’s health care system. And they don’t get enough credit. 

It was the incredible kindness of nurses that carried my wife and me through the most difficult period of our lives during our time spent in the NICU with our son, born 6-weeks premature to two terrified, overwhelmed parents. Those same incredible nurses cared for us as much as they did our son – from making sure we were eating and getting some rest to carefully explaining every move they were making and giving us the hands-on guidance we needed to feel comfortable transitioning our child out of their care and into our own. 

This National Nurses Week celebrated since 1982, I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you and recognize all the nurses out there – including our Signify Health nurses, nurse practitioners, and DNPs who are working every day to help improve outcomes, engagement, and the experience of health plan members, starting where all health begins: in the home. You made such a difference in my family’s life, as you do in so many lives you touch every day.

Nurses closing care gaps and uncovering unmet needs in the home

Signify Health’s national network of more than 13,000 credentialed clinicians, including nurse practitioners, help people gain a more comprehensive view of a health plan member’s health by conducting In-Home Health Evaluations (IHEs) in the comfort of their homes. During an IHE, clinicians identify chronic conditions, close gaps in care, assess behavioral health needs, and address social determinants of health, making it possible for health plan members to get connected to the right care for their unique needs. 

“Because we have time with members in the home, we’re in a position to notice things others may miss,” noted Signify Health NP Lisa Anger, whose intervention during a recent IHE saved a health plan member’s life. “We can then refer the member back to their primary care provider  for the follow-up they need.”

Importantly, approximately 21% of the health screenings Signify Health clinicians perform during an IHE turn up abnormal findings. 

Being in the home also means our nurses are better equipped to catch and close gaps in care and, most importantly, help plan members take the next best action for their health – from following up with their health plan about any issues or conducting a comprehensive medication review, to making sure they are receiving regular diagnostic and preventative screenings or connecting them with their PCP. 

In 2023, our clinicians closed almost 10 million care gaps during our IHEs – a milestone worth recognizing, especially given the growing prevalence of chronic disease, with two out of three American adults having two or more chronic conditions and four in 10 having more than two. 

“As a nurse practitioner in the office or inpatient setting, visits with patients are almost always rushed,” said Signify Health NP Suzie Ingram of her IHE visits. “With Signify Health, I get to spend time with health plan members in their homes,” and because of that, says Ingram, “I always feel I’ve made a connection, and I love that I can make a difference.”

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Benefits of nurses being in the home 

Signify Health’s IHEs are 2.5 times longer on average than a typical in-office doctor appointment, so during their time in the home, our clinicians have an unmatched ability to:

    • More meaningfully connect with health plan members – carefully listening to their concerns and even hearing what’s not being said – to learn about what is impacting their health, such as their current level of care engagement and obstacles to receiving care. 
    • Personally observe social drivers/social determinants of health (SDoH), including environmental and home-based health care needs, such as a health plan member with limited mobility needing a support bar installed in a shower or another durable medical equipment (DME) need. 
    • Screen for and facilitate timely interventions for chronic conditions, such as heart arrhythmia, diabetes, COPD, and chronic kidney disease (CKD)
    • Manage medications and help drive care plan adherence. They take the time to educate members about their medications and answer their questions or concerns.
    • Facilitate connections to care, whether to a primary care provider, specialists, or case management for more in-depth follow-up. These care connections help keep people engaged and happy with their care. In fact, a Signify Health study found highly satisfied health plan members are 61% more likely to renew their coverage with their health plan and six times more likely to report that their IHE has improved their health.
  • Assess behavioral health needs and connect health plan members to the resources they need. A recent Signify Health analysis showed earlier recognition and coordination of behavioral health needs can positively impact member health and member and health plan experiences. 

This Nurses Week, I’d like to personally thank our nation’s nurses, including our Signify Health nurse heroes, for showing up, doing the hard, human-centered work, and keeping our health care system running – especially when that care begins close to home. Nurses truly do make all the difference, and I continue to be inspired by each and every one of you. 

 Are you a clinician interested in helping health plan members gain a more comprehensive view of their health? To learn more about opportunities with Signify Health, visit our clinical careers page.

Interested in booking an IHE? Eligible health plan members can see if they or their loved one qualify for an In-Home Health Evaluation through our self-scheduling portal.