The novel coronavirus pandemic has quickly changed daily life across the country, including the way people in our communities seek health and social care. It is an alarming and confusing time for anyone trying to navigate rapidly evolving changes to much needed resources. Staten Island PPS is enhancing its role in the community, responding to the Covid-19 crisis by working to get virus-related updates, resources and information to the Staten Island community and implementing strategies to reduce the likely utilization surge our health system will face following the peak of the virus. Staten Island PPS is at full capacity with staff working remotely to help Medicaid members and beyond access social determinant of health resources, behavioral health support and chronic disease management tools.
The WeSource SDOH platform created by SI PPS is updated in real time to reflect changes in resource referral agencies and availability of services. Staten Island residents can access the SDOH platform and closed-loop referrals to resources via navigators in the community and remotely online via a link sent through text. SI PPS is expanding to all behavioral health partners access to a virtual recovery app called eRecovery by CHESS Health, in use by Richmond University Medical Center, YMCA, and others offering virtual support groups and messaging with counselors. These organizations are still offering their regularly scheduled programs, including MAT and psychiatry services, remotely over the phone or through video chat. SI PPS has assessed the capacity of primary care partners to continue services, offering telephonic and video appointments to their patients. Remote monitoring and other virtual tools to help patients manage chronic diseases in the home will be launched in the coming weeks.
Staten Island PPS has also expanded its efforts to get real time information to the community through text and email blasts sent twice a week. Text messages are tailored for specific populations addressing the topics listed above directly linking them to resources, hotlines and other links for support. Clients receiving text messages can also share with friends and family to sign up – to date SI PPS has over 70,000 members enrolled to receive text updates. Clients are also directed to a community-facing COVID-19 website page developed and launched by SI PPS, with available resources ranging from assessing symptoms of COVID, knowing when and how to get tested, and resources for individuals, parents and families about staying healthy and safe during the crisis. This page is updated daily as resources and information develop. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Staten Island PPS continues to monitor the situation and updates the messaging appropriately.