Grant from OneCity Health Innovation Fund to Improve Social Determinants of Health

On June 12, New York City’s OneCity Health Innovation Fund awarded $699,450 to the Bridging Access to Benefits and Care (BABC) program. This new initiative is led by Acacia Network, with three core partners: Seedco, St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) and MDRC. Funding for BABC will address social determinants of health for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised opioid dependent population in the Bronx through outreach, engagement, enrollment in public benefits and linkages to care. Seedco’s focus will be increasing enrollments in public benefits using our EarnBenefits Online technology. BABC builds on Acacia and Seedco’s Bronx Health and Benefits Initiative, funded through the Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities Innovation Fund, to integrate EarnBenefits Online into Acacia’s federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).

The full press release is below and an article from Crain’s Health Pulse are below. Learn more about the OneCity Health Innovation Fund at https://www.onecityhealth.org/innovation-award-program/

Teams from all 8 grantees funded through the $5 million OneCity Health Innovation fund Teams from all 8 grantees funded through the $5 million OneCity Health Innovation fund

Tara Colton, Executive Director of Seedco; Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network; Joyce Rivera, Founder and Executive Director, St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) accepting the $699,450 grant award Tara Colton, Executive Director of Seedco; Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network; Joyce Rivera, Founder and Executive Director, St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) accepting the $699,450 grant award

Crain’s Health Pulse:

OneCity Health gives out $5M in innovation grants
OneCity Health, the Performing Provider System led by NYC Health + Hospitals, said Tuesday it has awarded $5 million to eight organizations as part of its DSRIP Innovation Fund.
Among the grantees were Acacia Network, which will get $699,450 to help enroll opioid-dependent residents in the Bronx in public benefit programs, and the Fortune Society, which will receive $487,000 to perform physical, behavioral and social health assessments on individuals about to be released from Rikers Island. The nonprofit will also offer transportation to connect newly released individuals to a health care provider.
RiseBoro Community Partnership in Bushwick received the largest award, $780,000, to deploy community health workers to help people with hypertension and link them to social, nutritional and primary care services.
“These innovative solutions help to bridge the gap to a value-based payment environment, and the collaborations between our community partners demonstrate a holistic approach to creating an integrated delivery system,” Israel Rocha, CEO of OneCity Health, said in a statement.
Other Performing Provider Systems have used innovation funds to support projects that advance the goals of the state’s Medicaid reform program, such as reducing avoidable hospital use, but do not fit within other DSRIP programs. OneCity Health, which is eligible to receive the largest amount of DSRIP money among PPS’s, $1.2 billion, has one of the largest innovation funds.
The yearlong projects start July 1, and participants must submit project evaluations by Sept. 1, 2019.

Press release:

New York, NY (June 13, 2018) – Acacia Network announced today that it has received a $699,450 grant from the OneCity Health Innovation Fund to implement its project, Bridging Access to Benefits and Care (BABC). In collaboration with Seedco, St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) and MDRC, Acacia Network will use the grant funding to address social determinants of health for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised opioid dependent population in the Bronx through outreach, engagement, enrollment in public benefits and linkages to care.

Through Bridging Access to Benefits and Care, Acacia and its partners will:
Improve access to wraparound care for high-risk, high-need intravenous drug users and opioid dependent users in the Bronx
Increase enrollment in public benefits through Seedco’s EarnBenefits Online technology
Engage peer specialists to deliver compassionate, culturally sensitive outreach

BABC will reduce potentially avoidable ER visits and improve adherence to medications and amelioration of co-attendant diseases. Health issues experienced by the target population include HIV, HCV, Hepatitis A and B, sexually-transmitted diseases, respiratory issues, injection-related health issues and major psychiatric disorders. This population contends with stigmas around substance abuse, mental health, race and language, which results in a crisis-driven approach to care.

The program model is built around the Triple Aim and will focus on clients’ engagement with preventive care and drug treatment programs, access to benefit programs to stabilize their lives, and holistic care coordination that leverages peers. MDRC will be the evaluation partner. BABC builds on Acacia and Seedco’s Bronx Health and Benefits Initiative, funded through the Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities Innovation Fund.

“We are pleased that Acacia Network and our affiliate Seedco along with our partners at SACHR and MDRC have been selected to bring our collective expertise in wraparound care, benefits screening, community in-reach and rigorous evaluation to improve outcomes for high-need Bronx residents,” said Raul Russi, Acacia Network CEO. “We believe this innovative model will yield a significant reduction in the number and frequency emergency room visits and readmissions, which will result in better health outcomes and considerable cost savings. With this award, we are proud that Acacia and Seedco are now grantees across two Performing Provider Systems’ Innovation Funds!”

OneCity Health, the NYC Health + Hospitals Performing Provider System under New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, selected eight community partners to receive funding from its $5 million Innovation Fund to implement programs that will reduce avoidable hospitalizations, improve community health outcomes, and address social determinants of health, like food security and health literacy.

The $5M Innovation Fund was open to all OneCity Health partners, which includes more than 160 community-based organizations, hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies, behavioral health practitioners and others. OneCity Health encouraged partners to collaborate and submit joint applications, and ultimately received 41 applications from 55 partners.

“Congratulations to our partners for submitting creative ideas that cover a range of topics, from opioid dependency to improving connections to care. Their innovations will help improve the health of our patients,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, OneCity Health. “Each project represents two important aspects of the DSRIP program, innovation and community collaboration. These innovative solutions help to bridge the gap to a value-based payment environment, and the collaborations between our community partners demonstrate a holistic approach to creating an integrated delivery system. We look forward to helping to foster these programs over the next year and seeing their results.”

The $5M fund was one of the largest allocations set aside by a Performing Provider System across the State to support more community collaborations, innovations, and best practices.

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About Acacia Network, Inc.
Acacia Network, the leading Latino integrated care nonprofit in the nation, offers the community, from children to seniors, a pathway to behavioral and primary healthcare, housing, and empowerment. We are visionary leaders transforming the triple aim of high quality, great experience at a lower cost. Acacia champions a collaborative environment to deliver vital health, housing and community building services, work we have been doing since 1969.

About OneCity Health
OneCity Health is the NYC Health + Hospitals-sponsored Performing Provider System, formed under the auspices of the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. Comprising hundreds of healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and health systems, OneCity Health is the largest Performing Provider System in New York City.

About Seedco
Founded in 1987, Seedco is a national non-profit that advances economic opportunity for people, communities and businesses in need, and is an affiliate of the Acacia Network. Seedco’s proprietary EarnBenefits Online (EBO) software screens clients for more than 20 public benefits including Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), tax credits, cash assistance, heating/energy assistance, prescription drug coverage, and free cell phones. Since 2005, EBO has helped more than 200,000 households across the country access over $300 million in income-enhancing benefits.

About SACHR
Established in 1990, SACHR’s mission is to provide non-judgmental access to health resources to persons affected by the stigma of illicit drug use, HIV/HCV status, poverty, race, gender identity, homelessness and myriad health issues. SACHR is a multi-service agency providing a variety of interventions aimed to treat the whole person, including: case management, outreach/syringe exchange, Hepatitis screening and vaccination, support groups, educational workshops, mental health services, HIV testing and counseling, reproductive health services, treatment adherence services and Peer training.

About MDRC
MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor. MDRC designs and tests promising new interventions, evaluates existing programs using the highest research standards, and provides design and implementation assistance to build better programs that can be replicated and expanded. MDRC helped pioneer the use of random assignment in real-world settings and has developed new methods in implementation research and the study of variation in program impacts.