Care Navigation: A Discussion with Health Advocate and Ribbon

Discussing the role of care navigators within the healthcare ecosystem.

On March 22nd, we hosted individuals from Health Advocate and Ribbon to discuss the role of a care navigator in the healthcare ecosystem. Health Advocate is a benefits and care navigation company in the employer space and Ribbon is a provider data platform company that supplies some of the data that Health Advocate uses. See below for a video and summary of the conversation.

Note: This conversation was sponsored by Ribbon

Health Advocate provided an overview of their care navigation model for employers, highlighting how the market has changed over the last few years. Historically, they had to spend time educating employers on the benefits of a navigator, but more recently, given all the activity in the space, employers are more familiar with navigators and want to know the specific benefits of each. Health Advocate focuses on a telephonic model, most of its members reach Health Advocate by telephone (although it has the standard set of other channels you’d expect as well). It’s key metric is response rate to calls because ultimately that’s what drives member experience for Health Advocate, although employers very much moving in the direction of wanting to know how a solution is moving the needle on clinical outcomes for their employees. Health Advocate employs a care team that includes clinical and non-clinical roles, and it determines staffing by the size and needs of an employer population. It’ll connect into other services an employer uses as well, so for instance if an employer uses Omada for diabetes, Health Advocate will do a handoff to Omada in those cases. 

Ribbon is working on solving provider data challenges generally speaking and spent some time highlighting the magnitude of the issue in the space. Increasingly, Ribbon is focused not only on basic provider directory data, but layering on top of that clinical quality data to help support care navigators like Health Advocate. Ribbon is spending a lot of time trying to understand things like whether a provider can provide culturally competent care for specific populations and provide that data in a high fidelity manner to customers like Health Advocate. Ribbon and Health Advocate then work together to create a customized list of high quality / low cost providers that Health Advocate uses to enhance its offering to employers.


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