Caroline Xie, Greg Stanger and Sruthi Ramaswami | March 16, 2021
Unite Us: Connecting Health and Social Care
When Dan Brillman and Taylor Justice met at Columbia Business School, the two instantly connected over a shared understanding that healthcare, community, and social services needed to be unified. Dan, an active Air Force Reserve Pilot and Taylor, a former Army infantry officer, had observed how challenging it was for returning veterans to connect with the social services they needed while transitioning to the civilian sector. The traditional process of connecting health systems, community-based organizations, and individuals in need is fragmented and reliant on paper-based, manual processes, making it challenging to track outcomes, ensure coordinated care, and fully close the loop. Such fragmentation of social services is a major systemic failing because medical care alone does not equate to wellness; people don’t live in hospitals, they live in communities. Social determinants of health–such as food, housing, transportation and employment–can drive as much as 80% of health outcomes.
Determined to fix a system they knew was broken, Dan and Taylor founded Unite Us in 2013 to connect health and social care by building coordinated care networks, powered by an intuitive technology platform. Since then, Unite Us has rapidly scaled to connect anyone to the care they need in over 1,500 counties across the United States.
The fundamental insight that drew us to Unite Us is the powerful combination of a secure closed-loop-referral and coordination platform with a thoughtful approach to building sustainable networks of health and social care providers. With the Unite Us platform, healthcare and community-based organizations can efficiently screen individuals to identify co-occurring needs, send and receive electronic referrals, share information, communicate bi-directionally, and create care plans. The platform helps drive better clinical decisions, patient experience, and visibility into outcomes to address service gaps and reduce costs. Unite Us reports that its community networks have achieved an 88% improvement in coordination efficiency. Unite Us also enables the success of care networks at each step of the journey and partners with health and social service providers to deploy a comprehensive and continuous network-building and change management process.
As the ongoing pandemic has exposed the gaps in our country’s social care infrastructure, Unite Us is powering critical digital adoption and connected communities that have set the standard for coordinated care networks. In response to the pandemic, Unite Us launched COVID-19 social needs screening options, exposure assessments, public-facing websites for individuals in need, and rapid-response networks to provide immediate help. Health equity is also a guiding priority for Unite Us, and the inequities that exist between races and historically marginalized populations have become increasingly visible during the pandemic. We believe Unite Us is uniquely positioned to address health equity by bringing together partners from government, health care, and community-based organizations to build an inclusive infrastructure that increases access to resources and improves the health of all communities. Especially in these challenging times, we deeply admire how the Unite Us team has continued to build in collaboration with communities, expand its platform offering to include Insights and Payments, and make a tangible difference in people’s lives.
Customers and partners such as Kaiser Permanente, Metro United Way, Christiana Care, and others commend Unite Us for its expertise in social care, integrated technology, and community engagement. Unite Us has helped customers identify exceptional care in the social services sector, connect with multiple stakeholders, measure results, and enable individuals to access resources more seamlessly than they could have before. Importantly, customers are emphatic about the Unite Us team and their genuine desire to see people’s lives improve and galvanize communities as a true, trusted partner.
Unite Us’ mission to build connected communities to collaboratively address social determinants of health resonates deeply with ICONIQ’s focus on channeling capital, talent, and ideas to initiatives that advance society. The entrepreneurs we work with at ICONIQ Growth are deeply passionate about advancing health equity and have dedicated significant resources to impact and philanthropy. Unite Us represents our sixth investment in healthcare IT over the last year and a powerful addition to our family of best-in-class healthcare portfolio companies, including Benchling, QGenda, and Komodo Health. We could not be more thrilled to join Dan, Taylor, and the Unite Us team on their journey ahead.
Read more in the official Unite Us press release.