Duke Providers Connect Eligible Patients with Important Community Resources

Program Aims to Overcome Challenges that Lead to Health Inequalities

By Bryan Roth
April 29, 2021

Duke Health providers are partnering with a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services network to connect eligible patients with the community resources they need to combat social inequalities, like food insecurity, housing concerns, and transportation issues. All information shared on the platform known as NCCARE360 is kept confidential between you, your medical provider, and the community organization that receives your consent.

Connecting patients with these vital resources is important to improving overall health and well-being, said Dr. Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist with Duke Health. “While unequal access to food or transportation are not medical needs, they can have a significant impact on how patients receive medical care and deal with chronic disease. Providers are in a unique position to help those in need and help the community as a whole attain health equity."

How You’ll Learn About NCCARE360

The next time you check in online for an upcoming visit or meet for an appointment with your provider, you may be asked if you have social needs or concerns. If you share that you’re struggling to cover the cost of food, housing, or medical care, your provider will let you know that you may be eligible for assistance and may then talk to you about NCCARE360 during your visit. The network helps people with a range of services, including clothing and food, job training and legal aid, behavioral health, and more.

Having these conversations with patients demonstrates the steps Duke Health providers are taking to extend care beyond the hospital stay or clinic visit, explained Dr. Devdutta Sangvai, MD, vice president for Duke’s Population Health Management Office and executive director of Duke Connected Care, Duke Health’s accountable care organization whose goal is to ensure patients receive high-quality, coordinated health care. “Addressing all the needs of our patients is never an ‘add on’ to what we do,” he said. “We can improve patient outcomes when we consider different factors of life and social needs.”

Dr. Spratt agrees. “Where you live, work, and play can affect your health outcomes,” she said. “By screening and addressing for social needs, we can play a part in closing that gap.”

All Information Is Kept Confidential

Learning more about programs that can help you is completely optional. We will ask for your permission before we talk about it or share your name and contact information with community partners. If you choose to participate, you can give consent by signing a document during an in-person appointment, e-signing from a computer or mobile device, or completing a form in Duke MyChart. If you decide to connect with an organization, you will be able to track how those resources benefit your overall health with your provider.

Achieving Equal Health and Well-Being for Everyone

NCCARE360 is an important part of Duke Health’s goal to achieve fair health outcomes for all. The health system hopes that connecting patients to helpful programs, organizations, and resources will bring everyone -- patients and the entire community -- one step closer to achieving equal health and well-being for all.
 

Learn More About
NCCARE360 Resources