In the battle against social isolation in seniors, one young company just added new allies to its side—more than 65 to be exact.
Papa, creator of a curated platform to provide “family on demand,” announced Friday the company is now partnering with more than 65 national and regional health plans around the country serving members under Medicare Advantage as well as Medicaid managed care and employer health plans.
Serving members in all 50 states, the company – which was founded in 2017 – strives to connect older adults (along with family members and caregivers) to social care and interaction, all to curb social isolation and improve well-being. By pairing seniors with “Papa Pals” – trained employees available for household help, transportation and more – the service has already shown to reduce loneliness in members by 69%, according to a recent release.
“When I started Papa, I aimed to pair technology with humanity to assist our valuable older adult population,” said Andrew Parker, Papa founder and CEO. “Our Papa Pals are the eyes and ears for our health plan partners, helping identify and advocate for member needs. The model has proven successful with older adults, and we’re honored to continue that impact for so many more, especially vulnerable populations, as we rapidly expand.”
By focusing on helping plans improve key metrics – including member engagement and increased CMS Star Ratings – the company said it can also help these plans reduce their total cost of care.
Some of the new collaborating health plans include:
- Anthem Inc.
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
- Braven Health
- Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (Neighborhood)
- PacificSource Community Health Plans
Reducing caregiving burden through breadth of services
One of Papa’s key offerings is its virtual visits, allowing older adults to connect with a member of the company’s Papa Pals, who can offer virtual companionship and conversation. The connection can be made by calling a toll-free number or scheduling a visit through the app. The virtual connection capability is especially timely as the pandemic adds additional roadblocks to social interaction for seniors.
“The current climate of social isolation has exacerbated the health challenges already facing aging Americans,” Parker said. “Our Papa Pals provide companionship and work as boots-on-the-ground to support closing gaps in care and drastically improve health outcomes of older adults and their families.”
Additional social interaction is baked into the platform’s other offerings, including transportation services (trips to the doctor, pharmacy, bank, grocery store and more), assistance with laundry and house cleaning, meal preparation, or simply meeting to play a board game or just talk. Based in Miami, Florida, Papa is financially supported by Tiger Global Management, Comcast Ventures, Canaan and other investors. For more information, visit papa.com.