Cloud-based software giant Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) — known for providing customer relationship management (CRM) technologies to companies from Adidas to Piedmont Healthcare — is getting more involved in the home care game.
On Monday, the San Francisco-based company announced the rollout of new services meant to help home care companies monitor social determinants of health and connect teams — from dispatchers and care coordinators to caregivers — using a mobile app. The features will be available through Salesforces’ Health Cloud platform, a patient management software used by health care providers and health insurers.
The new tools aren’t built specifically for the home care industry, but they’re reflective of the U.S. health care system’s broader shift into the home, Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Joshua Newman told Home Health Care News.
“It’s not necessarily that we’re pushing into the home care space,” Newman said. “It’s just that the problems we’re solving happen to be [tied to] home care, and we’ve been selling to that market for a long time.”
Social determinants of health are economic, social and environmental factors that can influence whether a person becomes sick or needs medical care.
Salesforce clients will now be able to track those factors for each patient using information stored in their profile with the rest of their health data, allowing home care agencies, for example, to better inform care, according to the company.
The move comes as the nationwide push to address social determinants of health continues to grow, with the goal being to improve population health.
Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an expansion of supplemental in-home benefits for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to address social determinants of health, such as lack of transportation to medical appointments and the inability to meet daily needs.
Additionally, Humana (NYSE: HUM) CEO and President Bruce Broussard called social determinants for older adults and chronically ill populations among “the most impactful” influences on the U.S. health care system earlier this year. Social determinants of health are one of the insurer’s five main focus areas, in addition to home, primary care, pharmacy, behavioral health and social determinants of health.
Salesforce also announced the rollout of Field Service Lightning for Health Cloud, which is designed to connect the workforce of home health and home care companies.
The new mobile platform is meant to allow providers to better manage and coordinate care in a HIPPA-complaint setting, according to Salesforce.
“We see the home care market really growing,” Newman said, noting that people prefer to be at home instead of acute care settings. “Not only because that’s how the gravitational pull is changing or shifting, but I think it’s really evidence of what people have been calling ‘the patient focus’ increasing.”
Salesforce Health Cloud is available starting at $275 per user, per month. The social determinants of health capabilities are included with a Health Cloud license, while Marketing Cloud and Field Service Lightning are available at an additional license cost.
Salesforces is not able to share any results or data on the tools’ effectiveness at this time, Newman said.
“We’re going to be seeing more and more of this to serve the home care market,” he said.