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Silicon 70 2020

Cityblock – Building a scalable solution to address the root causes of health for urban populations


The basic fact that individuals with low incomes on average have poorer health than those with moderate and high incomes is well known: poor health status and poverty are closely linked. For every age group and the majority of health indicators, the poor's health is worse than that of the near-poor or nonpoor. Health influences most other activities of life, from the ability to engage in everyday functions such as school and work to enjoy life. Therefore, it is not surprising that many are concerned about disparities in health tied to income and about the allocation of the most visible means by which health is thought to be influenced by medical care. Many factors likely influence health among the poor, not just medical care, but this paper focuses on improving access to health care among the urban poor.

Cityblock is one such firm that believes everyone should have proper care for what matters to them. So it brings together primary care, behavioral health care, and social services and meets you wherever and whenever work for you. Cityblock's tools and care teams are designed to support you and make it easy for you to meet all of your health and daily needs. The company will provide Medicaid, and lower-income Medicare beneficiaries access to high-value, readily available personalized health services. The firm will apply leading-edge care models that fully integrate primary care, behavioral health, and social services. The firm partners with local communities specifically to address the social factors that influence health for each member collaborating with local providers and organizations to get members the right care for their unique needs. With intentional design and purpose-built technology, the company delivers better care and builds healthier communities, block by block.

Why Cityblock

Better care, better health: Health is local, so Cityblock care is personalized to meet the specific needs of every member. The firm partners with health plans, provider groups, and local community-based organizations to provide every member with comprehensive care that improves their health and daily lives. It has brought together a team of experts across technology and healthcare to get this right, building technology and designing an exceptional member experience in tandem. To us, that's the future of how healthcare is delivered.

Improving health with better care block by block: The firm is improving health in neighborhoods where better care is needed most, and to do that, the firm extends care beyond the traditional doctor's office. Cityblock teams are based in the communities, and they serve, forging long-term relationships with members and partnering with local community-based organizations. Equipped with custom-built technology, the company delivers personalized primary care, behavioral health care, and social services to each member.

Astonishing services offered by Cityblock

No more faxes: Most medical communication still happens by fax. Most healthcare providers use outdated technology, ineffective communication, and fee-for-service care lets people down. So Cityblock has built a custom technology platform, Commons, to make it easy and efficient for its team to care for each member collaboratively.

Communication is the key: Cityblock's mobile care teams looped into what's going on with every member, from real-time hospital admission alerts to tracking treatment progress. Built-in SMS and video-visits enable secure communication with members.

Information-sharing platform: Disorganized files, inconsistent documentation, fragmented data it's all a mess that can lead to mistakes. Cityblock brings data, documentation, and communication into a single access point for care teams.

Organization platform at its best: Traditional healthcare systems lack effective tools to manage tasks and keep teams organized. Cityblock's technology is designed for care providers, ensuring focus on member care, not paperwork.

360° view of health: The firm collects and ingests data from diverse sources, electronic health records, medical and pharmacy claims, community health sources, and direct interactions with members—and makes that actionable through decision-support and workflow tools.

Inclusive care planning: The company incorporates real-time clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols. The resulting individualized Member Action Plan focuses on goals and tasks directly relevant to the member's needs.

Community partnership: Cityblock works every day to deepen its understanding of the communities in which they operate. The firm has built networks of community-based organizations and integrates community members into the co-design process to ensure providing the social services that members need most.

The formidable leader behind the success of Cityblock

Iyah Romm is the Co-Founder and also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Cityblock. As a visually impaired individual, he was asked to carry his paper medical records from appointment to appointment. He had to fight for access to disability support, push the members of his care teams to exchange information and ensure that he didn't fall through the cracks. Since then, Mr. Iyah devoted his life to ensuring that the healthcare system does better for his family and community members.

"We use our custom-built technology to enhance strong relationships between members and care teams, while simultaneously empowering and incentivizing the health system to do better."