We founded Cityblock because health is the issue of our lifetime. Be it skyrocketing illness, the increasing disparity gap, or the massive toll on our economy, the impacts of poor health and dysfunctional healthcare are everywhere.
It’s bad. We know. We are clinicians, social workers, policy-makers, and administrators, as well as caregivers, family members, and patients ourselves. Healthcare costs are soaring, but not in ways that lead to better health.
By shifting the care balance toward prevention and community support, we know we can make populations healthier. Key to making this happen will be creating a new culture of care delivery that returns the patient to the center of the health system.
Logistical concerns, such as unreliable transportation and lack of access to childcare, can result in missed medical appointments. Economic hurdles, such as limited access to healthy food and anxiety over financial stress, all significantly worsen health outcomes. And social issues, such as lack of support and follow-up care, can hinder progress for patients struggling with diabetes, addiction, or asthma.
By providing members with care teams to address medical, behavioral, economic, and social factors, and by making our teams readily available within day-to-day community life, we believe we can significantly improve outcomes.
The existing hospital-based acute care system is designed to be reactive rather than proactive. But such care is expensive, often unnecessarily so.
A $10,000 hospital stay could cover the cost of any of these services:
Hours with a psychiatrist
Primary care visits
Hours with a community care worker
Rides to-and-from appointments
Too often, healthcare innovation targets only those those with more ability to pay. Their interests are what fuel change, as they are more empowered to speak up when services aren't meeting their needs. Over the past five years, more than $2 billion has been spent in employer and Medicare markets, while Medicaid, a $500 billion industry, remains largely ignored. This has to change.
These challenges require cross-sector collaboration and system transformation. We've brought together doctors, operations experts, social workers and engineers committed to innovating in care delivery in the Medicaid space.
Despite having the largest per capita healthcare expenditure compared to other countries, the United States has one of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and cancer, as well as a lower life expectancy. Racial and ethnic minorities and lower-income individuals, in particular, face large disparities in access to and use of healthcare, as well as in health outcomes.
Research suggests that the reason for this apparent paradox is America’s relative under-investment in social support. We want to change this by investing in addressing underlying social needs as part of providing medical care—we believe that tackling the roots of health is the only way to ensure true wellbeing.
Because provider compensation has historically rewarded doing more without a focus on outcomes, patients often don't get the preventive support that they need to avoid high-cost illnesses. For example, simple lifestyle interventions such as healthy eating and exercise can enable weight loss that delays and even prevents the onset of diabetes, a disease that costs the US $176 billion per year.
Through shared-profit partnerships with payers and hospital systems, we can redirect healthcare spending toward preventive measures, making care better and people more healthy. This will also significantly reduce costs, leading to the sustainability of Medicare and Medicaid.