Developing Trust Leads to Real Solutions – Like a Furnace!

For more than a year, Outpatient Care Coordinator Megan Berger, CSW, worked with a KentuckyOne Health patient to help address transportation issues. Trust was a huge barrier and the patient declined multiple attempts for support. At the persistence of the KHP Care Management Team, the patient finally consented, and Megan along with RN Health Coach Cheryl Neal took paperwork to her home for signing. When they arrived, the patient was waiting in the driveway to provide a quick signature. From there, KHP was able to get the patient approved for transportation – a first step to addressing health that resulted in compliance with medical appointments, improved medication adherence and getting needed screenings.

During a follow up call in February, Cheryl learned the patient’s home furnace was broken and the family had no heat. Estimates for repair were around $1,700 to fix, but based on the age of the furnace the repairman recommended they buy a new one at $2,500. Given their fixed income, the family simply could not afford either option.

With temperatures falling below 20 degrees at night, the KHP team got to work. Megan enlisted the help of Kaycie Sabelhouse, CSW. Through the support of the Louisville Metro Housing Resource Center, they learned the patient lived in 1 of 3 Jefferson County districts that provide emergency funding. With the correct documentation, the patient would qualify!

Again, they traveled to the patient’s home to get proof of income, a government ID and a copy of the house deed. This time, the patient let Megan into her home to help find this important paperwork. When they couldn’t find the deed, Megan went to public records to obtain a copy.

Quickly, the KHP team was able to get the patient qualified for the program and help coordinate the installation of a brand new furnace – absolutely free! The patient was beyond thrilled to not only have support, but heat!

Megan shared, “So many of our patients find it difficult to focus on their health because of other real life challenges – like no transportation, low income and poor housing conditions. Without support to address those challenges, they usually get sicker, not better. Addressing these social determinants is not just a nice thing to do, it’s the right thing to do!”

The KHP Care Management Team partners with providers to offer health coaching and social work support to select contracted populations. Call the KHP clinical service line at 1.877.543.5768 if you have patients needing social work support and learn if they are part of our contracted population.