The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium (MHDC), the nations oldest and leading health data and interoperability consortium, is embarking on a partnership with the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank advocating bold ideas for a just and caring system for health. The Lown Institute will enhance the Spotlight service by providing compelling and rigorous measures of health equity, value of care, and patient outcomes for 55 Massachusetts hospitals.
MHDC is thrilled to partner with the Lown Institute and to bring their novel metrics of social responsibility to our Spotlight subscribers, who represent some of the leading health systems in New England. Augmenting Spotlights market share, disease prevalence, and demographic analyses with the Institutes equity, value, and outcomes measures will provide Spotlight subscribers with a more comprehensive and relevant view of health system performance, said Denny Brennan, MHDCs Executive Director.
We are encouraged to see the growing interest from hospitals in how they can be more socially responsible. Massachusetts hospitals have been at the forefront of innovation and research in health care quality. Our partnership with MHDC now gives health systems in the Commonwealth an opportunity to measure their progress on equity and value of care as well, said Dr. Vikas Saini, President of the Lown Institute.
ABOUT THE LOWN INSTITUTE
Founded in 1973 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown, MD, developer of the defibrillator and cardioverter, the Lown Institute believes that a radically better system of health is possible and generates bold ideas towards that goal. The Lown Hospitals Index, a signature project of the Institute, is the first ranking to assess the social responsibility of U.S. hospitals by applying measures never used before like racial inclusivity, avoidance of overuse, and pay equity.
ABOUT THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH DATA CONSORTIUM
Since 1978, MHDC, a not-for-profit corporation, has remained the trusted and objective facilitator of health information and technology transformation among payers, providers, industry associations, state and federal agencies, individuals, and technology and services companies.
Founded by the Commonwealths major public and private healthcare organizations and chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MHDC strives to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare through
- rigorous and accessible health data analyses,
- education and leadership development; and
- the trusted, objective, and effective convening of the regions health information community in advancing multi-stakeholder collaborations.
In the first statewide program of its kind, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and San Diego-based financial education company iGrad have partnered to offer the award-winning Enrich™ financial wellness platform to 156,000 current and retired state employees.
The Economic Empowerment Trust Fund (EETF), chaired by Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, was awarded a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation last year to establish a comprehensive financial wellness initiative(1) for the state’s public sector employees. The Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) carries out the work and the mission of the EETF.
“One of my top priorities has always been to give everyone access to the resources and skills needed to navigate our financially complicated lives,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. “By offering the Enrich platform, we are providing current and retired state employees with the skill set necessary to make informed decisions to achieve economic stability for themselves and their families.”
OEE selected Enrich because the portal can provide customized financial education to meet the unique needs of Massachusetts employees and retirees. Enrich offers their users an onboarding assessment, with each user having access to their tailored content.
Enrich fits into overall financial wellness initiatives at OEE with convenient access to digital content. Each Massachusetts employee and retiree can easily navigate their financial wellness journey on their own schedules. Additionally, Enrich offers educational webinars to its users.
Enrich features the Your Money Personality™ financial behavior assessment, which analyzes each user’s financial “personality.” The interactive, mobile-friendly platform also provides:
– Financial education courses with personalized action plans on topics including budgeting, mortgages, healthcare, college savings, student loan repayment, banking, credit, financial planning and more
– Retirement and home affordability analyzers
– A suite of student loan and higher education tools
– Personal finance calculators and a real-time budget tool
Enrich is used by more than 20,000 employers and more than 300 financial institutions nationwide, with artificial intelligence technology that engages each user with the most relevant content based on financial situation and stage of life.
The Enrich platform includes dynamic tools and courses, delivering a highly personalized learning experience on financial topics including student debt, mortgages, budgeting, investing, retirement and long-term care.
A report(2) by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence released in April 2020 found that only 29 percent of state and local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, while 68 percent of public employees would participate in these programs if they were offered one.
The report found that even before the pandemic, 88 percent of respondents worried about their personal finances and financial decisions, and 66 percent said they worried while at work.
According to a 2021 Capital One CreditWise survey(3), 73 percent of Americans rank their finances as the most significant source of stress.
To combat financial stress, Enrich users are prompted to update their stress score about every four months to gauge the correlation between improved financial wellness and stress levels.
Data from 2019 shows that as Enrich participants improved financial understanding, their stress levels dropped.
Additional Enrich data found positive behavior changes as a result of program participation, including:
– 27 percent increase in emergency savings funds to cover three to six months of expenses
– 28 percent increase in credit cards being paid in full every month
– 32 percent increase in employees getting on track with their financial goals
“Enrich can help people of all income levels and in all stages of life,” said iGrad Vice President of Business Development Sam Evans. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is demonstrating the importance of financial wellness by offering Enrich to state employees and retirees, who are part of a group that wants to engage with behavior-changing financial education.”
iGrad is a San Diego-based financial technology company that offers artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to more than 600 colleges and universities, more than 20,000 employers and more than 300 financial institutions. iGrad’s Your Money Personality™ was recently recognized by the Institute for Financial Literacy with the 2020 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Adults’ Education Program of the Year award. iGrad is one of three 2020 honorees in the inaugural Barron’s Celebrates: Financial Empowerment, after being selected by a team of judges for its contributions to improving the financial health and security of Americans. iGrad also received the 2019 Eddy Award for Financial Wellness by Pensions & Investments for its Enrich platform. For more information about the iGrad platform, visit https://www.igradfinancialwellness.com. For more information about the Enrich platform for employers and financial institutions, visit https://www.enrich.org.