Healthfirst ADVANCE Shares New Learnings From Health Equity Programs

Feb 01, 2023

Healthfirst collaborated with New York hospital systems, physicians, and community organizations to resolve health-harming legal needs and to improve access to nutritious food and whole-person care for people living with HIV/AIDS

NEW YORK, February 01, 2023 — Healthfirst, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health insurers, released three new case studies that demonstrate progress toward health equity in the areas of legal assistance, food access, and care management of HIV/AIDS.

The case studies are showcased through Healthfirst ADVANCE, the company’s initiative designed to share key learnings from its health equity-focused programs so other organizations can understand and benefit from them. The company hopes its work will ultimately contribute to a more equitable healthcare system.

"We know firsthand that working toward health equity takes a village,” said Susan Beane, MD, Healthfirst’s executive medical director. “We’re proud to showcase our collaborative efforts and hope that others take our success stories and implement them in their communities.”

These three new and updated case studies represent Healthfirst’s dedication to closing care gaps and add to the existing case studies featured on the ADVANCE website. See details below.

Health-harming legal needs

Problems that require legal assistance to resolve, like housing instability, immigration issues and domestic violence, can all negatively impact health. A pilot program in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System and New York Legal Assistance Group resolved 80% of patients’ legal matters linked to health, like housing instability or threats to personal safety.

Access to food

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food access issues. A joint effort with City Harvest coordinated a biweekly pickup of 400 food boxes to address the needs of underserved communities. Also, using a combination of case management, self-service digital tools, and city hotlines, Healthfirst connected its members to a growing network of food resources.

Whole-person care for people with HIV/AIDS

People living with HIV may feel marginalized by care providers and may face substantial barriers to care. Through a partnership with Public Health Solutions, Healthfirst reached more than a third of its members living with HIV and improved their engagement with primary care providers.

Healthfirst hopes that sharing these success stories will inspire other health plans to implement similar programs in the communities they serve.

In addition to case studies, Healthfirst leaders also share health equity insights via the ADVANCE Perspectives blog. The new video spotlight section shares stories that describe how Healthfirst is a different kind of health insurer.

Read case studies, first-person health equity views and more at ADVANCE | Healthfirst.

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About Healthfirst ADVANCE

Healthfirst ADVANCE represents a culmination of Healthfirst’s 30-year commitment to value-based care and the belief that health equity can only be achieved when organizations work together to tackle systemic barriers. Healthfirst’s health equity programs are only possible because of the hard work and collaboration with its invaluable provider and community partners.


About Healthfirst

Healthfirst is the largest not-for-profit health insurer in New York State, earning the trust of 1.8 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 and advance health equity 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. 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 plans, please visit