Independence Blue Cross and Signify Health announced Wednesday the launch of CommunityLink, a network of community-based organizations designed to break down barriers between social and clinical care and improve health outcomes for people who need help with non-medical services including housing, transportation and financial support.

Working in the Philadelphia region, Independence registered nurse health coaches, Signify social care coordinators and local community-based organizations — including the YMCA and a nutrition alliance — are now able to coordinate care for Independence Medicare Advantage members and others.

The new community-based network expands Independence’s existing relationship with Signify Health, which sends clinicians into the homes to assess patients’ overall health, help manage chronic conditions and provide diagnostic services.

“Creating a more equitable healthcare system includes acknowledging that health not only happens in the doctor’s office, but in our members’ homes and communities,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. “We will be able to identify obstacles our members may be facing and offer solutions that are available to them right where they live through this new network.”

Starting next year, other healthcare providers also will be able to use CommunityLink to refer patients.

The network is connected through Signify Health’s privacy-enabled collaboration platform, which allows various providers to share and track an individual’s whole-health needs across settings and time. 

Signify boats a network of post-acute facilities and home agencies and makes more than one million in-home visits annually.

Independence and its affiliates cover more than 8 million beneficiaries in Pennsylvania. The company has tripled in size since 2010.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's Senior Living