Stakeholders across the healthcare industry are understandably frustrated with the challenges in navigating an unruly healthcare delivery system. However, it’s the patients and their families who are ultimately the victims as the most vulnerable in the process, says Jim Meadows, M.D., chief medical officer for Lucent Health.
At no time is that vulnerability more apparent than when a patient and his or her family are facing end-of-life issues while also navigating the healthcare system. Lucent Health’s care management solution, powered by Narus Health, was built to serve end of life issues, but the people, process and platform now serves broader needs for self-insured companies and their employees.
Meadows, who practiced palliative care in a large oncology practice before joining Lucent Health, describes the frustration of seeing patients and family members struggle with the healthcare delivery system. While doing good work, Meadows considered the idea that for everyone he was helping, there were 50 more people who weren’t receiving adequate help navigating their situations.
Vulnerable patients and families were without the consultative help, process or tools to navigate what they were facing: emotionally charged end-of-life issues.
In 2014, Meadows met a patient, Tom Cato, who changed the course of his career. Nashville healthcare executive Tom Cato had been diagnosed with ocular melanoma. Cato knew the severity of his illness was out of his control, but he found himself frustrated with his inability to influence the practical logistics of what he and his family were dealing with. Tom’s son, Todd, and Meadows were so influenced by the experience that they left their careers to build Narus Health.
What Narus built to serve patients and their families facing end-of-life issues—a compassionate care team of experts; a technology that provided ease of experience to members and gathered critical data; and a process for how to allay fears, answer questions and escalate care when needed—became the right model to address needs beyond palliative care.
Delivering members an unbiased, trusted advocate for their healthcare experience is a need faced by many patients and families across a diversity of healthcare journeys. Self-insured companies need help taking care of their employees, and ensuring they have help navigating their experience.
When it comes to serving self-insured employers, Narus Health has been able to serve member needs by using nightly claims data effectively and efficiently, which equips the care team to provide compassionate support. They are able to see data to indicate what a member might need to be enrolled in complex care management, whether because they have a serious health diagnosis or are expecting a baby for instance.
The team assembled to meet member needs is composed of nurses with care specialties, including behavioral health, maternity, oncology and transplants, and many more skill sets for other aspects of the healthcare journey, such as billing. Members are enveloped with compassionate care and provided help dealing with any area that causes anxiety: from side effects, to help understanding treatments, to a billing question.
Members are also able to use tools, like a mobile app, that provide them more control over the experience of how and when to access the help they need.
The value of Narus really enhances the health benefits offerings to self-insured employers.
“The depth of service that we loved about the Narus Health program—the people, process and platform— was why we wanted them to be bundled into our service offering,” said Brett Rodewald, Lucent Health CEO. Lucent Health bought Narus Health in 2019. “At the same time, Narus Health is free to pursue opportunities that sit outside of who we serve.”
The lessons learned in serving the needs of vulnerable patients and families have helped Lucent Health’s care management solution, powered by Narus Health, meet the demands of patients and their families for a whole host of healthcare needs, to the tune of 175 companies and more than 150,000 lives receiving personalized care from Lucent Health.
If you have member needs that you want to discuss, please visit https://lucenthealth.com/contact.