Community health network turns to AI for help identifying coronavirus patients

Experts agree that extensive patient outreach will be essential to ensuring vulnerable patient populations are able to access testing and treatment as the coronavirus pandemic wears on.

Jeff Rowe | Mar 17, 2020 12:00 am

In the race to identify and treat coronavirus patients, Managed Home Network (MHN), a managed care organization based in Cook County, Illinois, has tapped a new AI platform to buttress its efforts to provide care for marginalized or vulnerable patient populations.

According to an announcement, MHN has combined its database with’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Index to create a predictive model that allows MHN to prioritize care management outreach to patients who are likely to have a heightened vulnerability to severe complications from COVID-19.

With a managed care program benefitting some 120,000 patients across Cook County, MHN wants “to identify what we refer to as the ‘socially isolated’ or people without nearby friends or family so our care teams can proactively educate and offer assistance to people in regards to COVID-19,” said Art Jones, MD, the organization’s chief medical officer.

Once patients who may benefit from community outreach have been identified, PCPs from within the MHN network will communicate with to ensure them that they have the resources necessary to engage in care access best practices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic or connect patients with the resources available to do so.

“Community preparedness is critical. The dedicated MHN care teams who proactively reach out to patients via phone, email or text will help individuals understand what they can do to lower their chance of infection, recognize symptoms of infection and how best to access the advice and care they need,” said Jones.

Naturally, given the extent to which the healthcare sector is already being stretched thin, that community outreach and patient engagement will not be so simple.

With that in mind, observed Cheryl Lulias, MHN’s president and CEO, risk stratification is more important than ever.

“With limited availability for testing at present and the stress this pandemic will place on our health care system, we need ways to identify individuals that will most benefit from outreach. Medical Home Network is using our health risk data which includes social determinants of health powered by AI predictive models to prioritize resources in our communities,” Lulias stressed. “Our care teams can make a difference for those patients who are likely to have a heightened vulnerability to severe complications from COVID-19.”


Resource Center VIEW MORE