Community care service-coordination platform Unite Us announced this week that it has acquired Staple Health, a social determinants of health analytics company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2017, Staple Health's specialty is predictive analytics regarding the role social factors can play in various health outcomes. Unite Us was interested in adding these strengths to its existing in-house analytics capabilities.
"Staple had the expertise we wanted and also aligned with our mission and vision to build healthier communities – we wanted both their technology, and extensive health analytics experience," Kelly Binder, chief of staff at Unite Us, said in a statement. "There was a natural, cultural fit with our team,"
Unite Us’ digital platform handles external referrals between community services and providers, but also tracks each patients’ outcomes and their journey through care. The company’s goal is to develop a unified support network able to address social determinants of health in ways that health systems or social service workers working alone could not.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
The combined efforts of these two companies stand to "enable payers and providers to not only identify both individualized risk and community needs, but also provide them with the immediate ability to address those needs through accountable networks of community partners" at a nationwide level, according to the announcement from Unite Us.
More tangibly, a representative for Unite Health noted that the acquisition provides the SDOH company with a new database of 270 million individuals, as well as new relationships with business partners Alliance and Aspenti Health.
"We've always offered data and insights to our partners, but now we can give them the ability to make more strategic, intentional decisions to help individuals and communities in the most impactful ways," Dan Brillman, Unite Us cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. "This was the next logical step as we build a national public health infrastructure that truly integrates health and social care."
THE LARGER TREND
COVID-19 has only served to amplify the strain on healthcare and community service providers, Unite Us cofounder and president Taylor Justice and Manik Bhat, CEO of fellow SDOH-management platform Healthify, said during a recent HIMSS20 digital session.
Both executives said that they expect the demand for the community services that their platforms facilitate to remain high for months or longer, but noted that innovative approaches to SDOH that extend beyond short-term fixes have become a new priority for policymakers and other stakeholders.
"City governments and state governments are looking for solutions, looking for answers, and, historically, their knee-jerk reaction during COVID-19 hasn't been human and social services," Justice said during the session. "But I think we've been pretty successful at having their ear, giving them a game plan of how we can implement our solutions, and that we've done this before. This isn't a brand-new concept that we're bringing to them and saying, 'Hey, we think we can execute.' We're saying, 'No, we know we can execute. Here are the KPIs. Here's when we are going live.'"