June 25, 2021Austin, Texas — Iris, the leading provider of Advance Care Planning (ACP) solutions for health plans and providers, has been selected by Healthfirst, one of New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurers to provide its comprehensive suite of ACP services that are tailored to the needs of healthy, chronically-ill and seriously ill members. The goal is to provide universal access to advanced care planning to members who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid as part of Healthfirst’s value-based care model.

With increased social and regulatory focus on ACP, Healthfirst is leveraging Iris’ self-guided Empower platform. The Empower platform simplifies the ACP process with guiding prompts, supportive education, and auto-generated directives that can be shared with family members and care teams in a few simple clicks. Empower allows health plans with a value-based care model to meet quality targets, while providing a valuable service to its members. Jennifer Yaggy, AVP of Medicare at Healthfirst stated, “We chose Empower to offer ACP more broadly to our Medicare members. It turned out to be very timely since our members were not able to engage with their providers in person during the pandemic.”

Healthfirst is also providing its members facing serious illness with access to Iris Premier, a comprehensive care planning solution offering expert-led facilitations via telehealth to discuss and document care goals and preference. This will help individuals to retain control of their healthcare, reduce family conflicts and avoid unwanted or non-beneficial care. Healthfirst has included Premier as a part of their “Helping You” program designed to help their more vulnerable Medicare population by encouraging community-based organizations who work with their seriously ill members to identify and refer those in need of ACP to Iris.

“Most people don’t understand the context of, and options for, their serious illnesses without help. Oftentimes it's difficult for loved ones to come to a consensus on decisions concerning future medical care. Iris involves family and caregivers to help them all ask questions and to come to an understanding about the member’s condition and health care options. Then, Iris guides the member along with family and caregivers through the process of determining the best path for meeting the medical and care needs in the future.” said Dr. Susan Beane, Executive Medical Director at Healthfirst.

About Iris
Iris partners with at-risk healthcare organizations to scale the delivery of Advance Care Planning across their member populations by taking ownership of the integration and delivery of ACP, expanding access to Palliative Care and Hospice, while keeping clinical teams informed. Iris’ suite of solutions lead to reduced care utilization and cost of care, improved healthcare quality and an enhanced member experience. Our powerful suite of tech-enabled Advance Care Planning solutions allow healthcare payers and at risk organizations to provide a meaningful and beneficial program to members while taking the burden off of internal resources, driving appropriate care utilization and cost savings across organizations.

About Healthfirst
Healthfirst is the largest not-for-profit health insurer in New York State, earning the trust of 1.7 million members by ensuring access to affordable and high-quality healthcare. Sponsored by downstate New York’s leading hospital systems, Healthfirst’s unique advantage is rooted in its mission to put members first by partnering closely with its broad network of providers on shared goals. Healthfirst is also a pioneer of the value-based care model, now recognized as a national best practice. For nearly 30 years, Healthfirst has worked with its network of hospital systems, community providers, and partners to improve health outcomes through better access to care—especially in underserved communities adversely impacted by disease, health disparities and socioeconomic barriers to optimal health. Healthfirst has built its reputation in the community for top-quality products and services New Yorkers can depend on. It offers market-leading products to fit every life stage, including Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, Long-Term Care plans, Qualified Health plans, Essential Plans and individual and small group plans. Healthfirst serves members in New York City and on Long Island, as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, and Orange counties. For more information on Healthfirst, please visit healthfirst.org.