CareSource donates $800K to Cincinnati Children’s to address disparities in health

Dayton-based insurance company CareSource is donating $800,000 to Cincinnati Children’s that will go toward the organization’s work on health equity. Those efforts are led by the Michael Fisher Child Health Equity Center and HealthVine.

HealthVine, a network of pediatric care providers and organizations backed by Cincinnati Children’s, provides care management, quality improvement, and utilization management for about 120,000 children and young adults with CareSource Medicaid insurance in eight Ohio counties, including Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren.

The Fisher Center was established in November 2021 to address social, environmental and health care factors that influence child health so that all kids can reach their full potential and thrive.

“Closing equity gaps in patient outcomes is one of the major drivers of improving overall pediatric health,” said Dr. Jeff Anderson, senior vice president and chief population health officer at Cincinnati Children’s. “We are grateful to CareSource as this will support our teams in closing these gaps.”

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CareSource has previously partnered with Cincinnati Children’s, but this is the first time community reinvestment dollars are being dedicated to HealthVine, the company said.

“CareSource is proud to support Cincinnati Children’s in pursuit of equitable health outcomes for children and adolescents in Greater Cincinnati,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market president. “CareSource knows that eliminating health disparities cannot be achieved without partnerships to address issues that have impacted health outcomes for historically marginalized communities.”

HealthVine combines internal data from Cincinnati Children’s with information gathered through CareSource to create innovative ideas for improvement in various areas.

“Funding will help us to move further faster and gives us space to think differently about how we deliver care,” said Dr. Andrew Beck, who is director of Population Health Research and Innovation at HealthVine, as well as faculty co-lead in the Fisher Center and an attending physician at Cincinnati Children’s.

“This will help reduce racial and socioeconomic equity gaps in a variety of clinical areas, including asthma, mental health conditions, premature birth, and Type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Ndidi Unaka, who is medical director for quality improvement and analytics for HealthVine and an attending physician at Cincinnati Children’s.

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The funding through the CareSource Foundation is made possible through its status as a non-profit. A spokesperson for CareSource said that as CareSource earns or retains excess funds, they are not beholden to return those funds to stockholders. Instead, they go to the foundation, which distributes them as described on the CareSource Foundation website and in alignment with the foundation’s mission, which is to invest in initiatives and organizations that make a lasting difference in their members’ lives and communities by improving their health and well-being.

A CareSource spokesperson added a percentage of funding is reinvested in the infrastructure that services Medicaid in the state, such as providers, community organizations, other nonprofits, and more. CareSource prioritizes services that advance health outcomes, innovation, access, and equity. Other recent CareSource Foundation donations include $2 million to Dayton Children’s and a commitment of $2.55 million to Easterseals.

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CareSource covers 2 million people in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. It is also part of a team offering services in Arkansas for people with developmental disabilities. In August, CareSource announced it would also be serving Medicaid members in Mississippi as part of its partnership with TrueCare, which is owned by nearly 60 Mississippi hospitals and health systems.

More than 4,500 employees work at CareSource, including 3,000 in the Dayton region.

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