Penn’s Community Health Worker program yields $2.47 for every $1 invested annually by Medicaid

Every dollar spent on patients receiving support from Penn Medicine’s community health worker (CHW) program resulted in an annual return on investment of $2.47 annually by Medicaid, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. The savings are generated by reducing hospitalizations.

rendering of many stethoscopes along a trail of heart monitoring illustrations

Developed at Penn, Individualized Management for Patient-CenteredTargets (IMPaCT) addresses unmet social needs such as housing and food insecurity and transportation needs in underserved populations with the goal of improving health. The evidence-based program hires and trains trusted neighborhood residents to become CHWs who carry out culturally appropriate outreach activities, social support, patient advocacy, and health system navigation. 

“Within a Medicaid population, we now know that investing in our communities with this type of robust and personalized social support not only adds meaningful health value but also meaningful financial value,” says senior author Shreya Kangovi, founding executive director of the Penn Center for Community Health Workers and developer of the IMPaCT program. “These results paint a more realistic picture of the return on investment from a community health worker program that past studies haven’t accurately shown.”

Read more at Penn Medicine News.