There has been no shortage of societal challenges this year. The healthcare challenges posed by COVID-19 have pushed UnitedAg to elevate our services not only to support our members during these trying times but also to build a foundation for better outcomes in the future.
Last fall, our membership identified five focus areas for innovation in 2020: chronic disease management, behavioral health, caregiver services, employee engagement, and healthcare navigation. Instead of throwing us off course, the COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear why we need these services and where to invest our time, energy, and dollars to achieve a better healthcare experience. We share with you three major learnings from the pandemic and what we are doing to address them.
First, the stress of COVID-19 shined a spotlight on the urgent need for more robust mental health services. There were already disparities in behavioral health outcomes in our communities, but being on the frontlines during a deadly pandemic added a tremendous burden to our workforce.
Second, UnitedAg has always been a member-centric organization that utilized in-person interactions to connect with our membership. Without the ability to meet face-to-face, it became apparent that we need a more robust infrastructure for digital communication.
Lastly, given that those with chronic conditions have a higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, the pandemic reminds us that chronic diseases not only jeopardize long-term health but also worsen outcomes for acute illnesses.
Over the past several months, the UnitedAg ecosystem has proven to be much more than just a health plan. We are a community built around trust and passion for bringing the most innovative and cost-effective care to the agricultural agriculture industry.