A mature woman helps a senior woman out of a car as she takes her to the shops

Longitudinal care firm Lifespark is offering more senior services addressing social determinants of health through a new partnership with companionship and transportation services company Envoy America. Lifespark GO! Powered by Envoy America is now providing companion assistance through transportation for residents at 14 communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The service is expected to extend to more than a dozen other communities by the end of this year. 

The partnership benefits seniors by addressing social determinants of health including social isolation and loneliness. It also helps seniors retain their autonomy and independence as they age. Seniors can schedule a companion driver to transport them to doctor’s appointments, shopping and other social activities. 

Lifespark has been an innovator in whole-person senior services. The company provides a variety of services, such as primary care, home health, home care, hospice and senior living. It works with a number of Medicare Advantage plans to help offset risk by addressing health issues upstream, including access to care. 

Lifespart co-founder and CEO Joel Theisen told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse in an upcoming Newsmakers Podcast to be published on Thursday that a more holistic approach to healthcare can provide significant returns on investment to MA plans.

“It’s really about making sure you can quantify and show Medicare Advantage plans and accountable care organizations the true cause-effect of the work that you do and then monetize it that way,” Theisen said in the podcast. 

Healthcare providers and payers have been focused increasingly on social determinants of health. A recent study by United Health Foundation reported that suicides among seniors increased 13% during the pandemic, due in large part to social isolation and loneliness, in addition to a lack of access to services other than healthcare.