Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets

Associate Director, Office of Public Affairs
Email: Kathy.wilets@hsc.utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-5717

Mar 25, 2015 10:24 AM

The University of Utah Health Plans announced its participation as one of five selected organizations in the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) and Calvert Foundation’s Pay for Success (PFS) Program benefitting low-income, asthmatic children. Donations from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) will be used to research new models of a home-based intervention program, aiming to result in reduced asthma-related hospitalizations, emergency department visits, missed school days and other outcomes over a seven-month time span.

Large numbers of asthmatic patients in Utah, especially within the pediatric population, made The University of Utah Health Plans a prime candidate for this study. Together with GHHI, care managers will use a variety of mechanisms to select patients fitting the requirements to receive home renovations.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Corporation for National and Community Service’s support and the opportunity to explore PFS projects with these exceptional healthcare organizations,” said Ruth Ann Norton, GHHI President & CEO.“ GHHI is working to improve the health of housing so children and families are healthier and have a greater opportunity to thrive.”

Research has found that 40 percent of asthma episodes are caused by home-based environmental health hazards. Unaware of the root causation, patients are resorting to medical attention before fixing the problems at home. Together with the GHHI and Calvert Foundation, the University of Utah Health Plans will research specific ways to increase the health standards of local, low-income homes by making whatever renovations are needed in the home—anything from replenishing air filters to replacing bad carpet with other flooring.

By implementing this feasibility study, the University of Utah Health Plans aims to lower the medical costs by reducing the amount of emergency room and hospital visits associated with asthma. Research and analysis will determine the effectiveness of the home renovations in lowering medical costs and preventing asthma outbreaks.

The clinical operations team from the University of Utah Health Plans will be an integral player with local pediatric clinics and Green and Healthy Homes once the project start date is finalized. UUHP will provide care management referrals as well as intense analysis reviewing the effectiveness of the study.

“We feel extremely fortunate to have been awarded the Social Innovation Fund Program with GHHI,” Travis Ault, business operations manager for the University of Utah Health Plans, said. “We have worked with Green and Healthy Homes for the last two years and have seen much improvement among members served by this partnership. We look forward to providing a unique community service to our members, which will facilitate healthier outcomes for low-income, asthmatic children through improved living conditions. It is a wonderful project and we are excited to be a part of it.”

About University of Utah Health Plans: Salt Lake City, UT

University of Utah Health Plans (UUHP) was formed as a strategic initiative of the University of Utah Medical Group and University of Utah Health Care. Since 1998, UUHP has grown to serve more than 140,000 members, with more than 100 staff members in the Salt Lake City area. UUHP administers fully at-risk Medicaid and commercial products and is strategically aligned with academia and government programs to effectively manage cost and quality of health care and meet all regulatory requirements. UUHP is focused on population management. UUHP identifies member risk levels and provides the most appropriate intervention, from supporting healthy lifestyle decisions to advanced care management, for patients with complex conditions.

About Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative® (GHHI®) is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. Formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable green, healthy and safe homes. As a result, we are improving health, economic and social outcomes for families across the country.

With support from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Energy (DOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council on Foundations and numerous philanthropic partners, GHHI serves as the national model for green and healthy homes interventions and is currently working in Austin, Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston Auburn, Marin County, New Haven, Philadelphia, Providence, Salt Lake and San Antonio. Learn more at ghhi.org or follow us @HealthyHousing.

GHHI is a recipient of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF). As part of the SIF’s new Pay for Success initiative, GHHI is helping strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement Pay for Success projects across the country. By tying funding for community-based solutions to tangible social outcomes, Pay for Success has the potential to change the way government serves the public. Learn more at nationalservice.gov/sif.

U of U Health Plans