TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Concerns surrounding social isolation and loneliness are rising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers have acknowledged that loneliness and social isolation have become the newest healthcare epidemic. Both factors are associated with a 26% increase in the likelihood of early death, as well an uptick in diagnoses of heart disease, dementia, stroke, depression, and increased hospitalizations.
In response, Staywell Health Plan (Staywell), which serves more than 1 million Medicaid members across Florida, is providing its members with access to a new 24/7 support hotline to address loneliness and social isolation in partnership with HAPPY the APP, Inc., a support service providing emotional assistance to those in need. HAPPY offers Staywell members the opportunity to address their concerns with a caring support giver with the goal of improving mood and overall health.
"We are pleased to pilot this important service, which helps address social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Nicholas Abid, Medical Director of Behavioral Health for Staywell. "New advances in technology continue to positively influence how we render our services and help our members stay healthy, especially during this challenging time."
Staywell members experiencing loneliness or social isolation can call HAPPY 24 hours a day, seven days a week by dialing 1-855-953-4567.
Staywell and WellCare of Florida provide government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid (Staywell), Medicare Advantage (WellCare), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (WellCare) across the state. Staywell and WellCare of Florida are affiliated with Sunshine Health Plan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information, please visit www.wellcare.com/florida.