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  • Health Equity. Redefining "Underserved Communities" as "Priority Communities."

    Darrell Gray II, Chief Health Equity Officer at Elevance Health (formerly Anthem) Tony Waller, Vice President, Constituent Relations and Racial Equity, Walmart Dr. Sheena Menezes, Founder and CEO of Simple HealthKit Ms. Uriridiakoghene Onovakpuri, Partner, Kapor Capital Four people who are intensely interested in Health Equity. According to the Centers for Disease Control: “Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.” That’s a large group of people, in vastly different circumstances and places, with various levels of insurance and financial means, being served by organizations of all types and sizes. Two weeks ago, Dr. Gray, Mr. Waller, Dr. Menezes and Moderator, Ms. Onovakpuri, who goes by Ulili, took part in a panel discussion on Health Equity as part of the “Beyond the Divide” symposium hosted by Techplug, an innovation firm that’s working to “address health disparities in vulnerable populations.” Among the topics discussed were: The Convergence: How the combined emphasis on Health, Tech and Culture can develop inclusive health solutions. How to use this combination to address Sexually Transmitted Infections, which are on the rise at HBCUs (for example). The systemic inequities affecting Maternal Health and health delivery in general that prevent equitable care — and what to do about it. So how does Simple HealthKit and these renowned leaders tackle the enormous problem of Health Equity? The first thing is to change the vernacular — from “Underserved Communities” to “Priority Communities.” To make these people, in these places, served by these institutions our TOP priority. To do that, we’re creating partnerships — and, we’re making progress — by combining technology, culture and partnerships, we’re able to do a lot for Priority Communities. By going beyond diagnostics alone, which leaves more questions than answers — to EVERYTHING people need to assess and claim their health. We make the test part easier— Community members can choose at-home or on-site-clinic full-service testing option We get results back faster — We built our own CLIA/CAP certified labs to get all results in under 24 hours and even same day We provide one-stop test, treatment, medication, even cure — We’ve assembled a full, end-to-end STI and COVID solution for people to get tested AND treated We leave no one behind, financially — We’ve found ways around the expense and will NEVER send a patient to collections We understand each community and customize our solutions to the unique outreach, engagement and budget considerations of each one — THIS IS THE BIG ONE We provide health for any budget — One way is by providing on-site staff at no cost and free test packs so you can experience our difference And we’re doing all that with and for so many types of institutions: Large brands, like Walmart HBCUs, like SUNO (Southern University of New Orleans) Large corporations Federally qualified health centers Large health systems Safety net hospitals County governments State universities Community colleges Small businesses Where does your institution, organization or company fit along this continuum? And how can we help each other bring Health Equity to Priority Communities? We’re all ears — and hands — and hearts. After all, everyone deserves better health. It’s that Simple.

  • Culturally-affirming practices increase STI testing / treatment rates. Here’s proof.

    We all saw so many headlines over the past two pandemic years suggesting we were having less sex. Just have a look at this article from the BBC. According to the piece: Before the pandemic, many couples lived like “two ships passing in the night”, says Houston, Texas-based sex therapist Emily Jamea. Previously overscheduled with out-of-home commitments, some partners found that pandemic-related lockdowns offered a much-needed respite. Being stuck at home let them slow down and take more time for intimate moments together – at first. “Initially, the pandemic gave people the opportunity to… reconnect in a way that maybe previously they were only able to do on vacation,” says Jamea. As the pandemic wore on, however, it began to “take its toll” on intimate relationships, she says. “For the majority of couples, sexual desire kind of took a nosedive.” Studies from around the world tell a similar story. Research conducted in Turkey, Italy, India and the US in 2020 all points to the decline in sex with partners as well as solo acts, directly attributed to lockdown. “I think a big part of the reason for that is because so many people were just too stressed out,” says Justin Lehmiller, social psychologist and research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, which conducted the US-based study. Fair enough — yet, despite this reporting of less sexual activity, STI/STD rates during the pandemic have gone up, according to this CDC-published data. Yet, amidst these seemingly counter-intuitive facts, a bright spot emerged when the question was posed: What would happen to STI-testing rates in the LGBTQ community when culturally affirming care is instituted? According to one study’s findings, published in the July/August, 2020 issue of Annals of Family Medicine: Ten federally qualified health centers were selected to participate in the year-long program. Small care teams were formed at each site, and those teams received coaching, training and facilitation from the program’s staff, much of which was conducted virtually. According to the study summary, By the end of the program, estimated HIV screening of LGBT patients at eight of the reporting sites rose from 14.8 percent to 30.5 percent, with increases in STD screenings as well. Expanded coverage we found on the site, medicalexpress.com, revealed more impressive results: The researchers found that FQHCs reported increases in culturally affirming practices, including collecting patient pronoun information (42.9 percent increase) and identifying LGBT patient liaisons (300.0 percent increase). Based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) from electronic health records among nine FQHCs, SOGI documentation increased from 13.5 to 50.8 percent of patients. Screening of LGBT patients increased from 22.3 to 34.6 percent for syphilis, from 25.3 to 44.1 percent for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and from 14.8 to 30.5 percent for HIV among the eight FQHCs reporting the number of LGBT patients. So, with STI/STD rates increasing, what can we all learn from the LGBTQ successes to increase testing and treatment? What if we looked at the majority of young people who make up the largest percentage of STI/STD cases as either underserved or under resourced? And what if we instituted culturally affirming care to these members of our communities? Would testing be seen with less stigma? Would we as caregivers understand the burden of a diagnosis alone — and insist on a full program of testing and treatment? Would we look for solutions that remove budgetary burdens for the institution and payment burdens for community members? At Simple HealthKit, we believe the answer to all these questions is a life-affirming, health-affirming, human-affirming — and culturally-affirming, “yes!” Which is why we’ve created a program for STI/STD testing and treatment that provides massive benefits to community members and caregivers alike: We make the test part easy — Your community members can choose at-home or on-site-clinic full-service testing option We get results back, super-fast — We built our own CLIA/CAP certified labs to get all results in under 24 hours and even same day One-stop test, treatment, medication, even cure — We’ve assembled a full, end-to-end STI solution for you and your patients to get tested AND treated No one is left behind, financially — We’ve found ways around the expense and will NEVER send a patient to collections We understand each community and customize our solutions to the unique outreach, engagement and budget considerations of each one And for you and your budget challenges — We provide on-site staff at no cost and free test packs so you can experience our difference If you think we might be kindred spirits, we’d be happy to talk. After all, everyone deserves better health. It’s that Simple.

  • Our COVID perspective. Hope for the best, but stay prepared.

    Omicron. Less pathogenic. Much more transmissible. Outcompeting the previous, more dangerous Delta strain (and all the others that came before). And even though there have been a number of Omicron variants and subvariants, our overall, global luck seems to be holding — while cases are up, hospitalizations and deaths are down as a percentage of infections. Some even say this version of SARS-CoV-2 will cause the pandemic to become endemic, allowing us all to get back to our pre-COVID lives. Welcome news to a world that’s been united in its fear and uncertainty over the past two years. But, as this article from STATnews.com points out, we just really, really don’t know. We at Simple HealthKit witnessed the hardships and challenges that our families, our communities, and health systems were facing and had to step up and get on the front lines to build! This was a need we could do something, so we put our technological and scientific backgrounds to work. We built our own CLIA/CAP-certified lab and developed a highly sensitive and specific COVID-19 RT-PCR test. In addition, we offered end-to-end services to various institutions across the nation. We did all of this to control the speed and costs of getting tested, so no one would be left out. Given our company is comprised of 70% women and 90% racial minorities, it’s been easy for us to find our passion and our mission — we exist to prove, that everyone deserves better health; it’s that simple. And we’ve used that mission to drive our own innovation; and create diagnostics for beyond-COVID needs, such as testing for STDs/STIs and soon, women’s and general health. We’re applying exactly the same principles we’ve put to use during the pandemic: Fast, accurate, affordable, with a connection to treatment and medication, for all. Everyone’s heard about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved populations. According to the non-profit, Compassion and Choices (compassionandchoices.com), an organization dedicated to improving care, expanding options, and empowering everyone to chart their end-of-life journey: “Early data suggest COVID-19 disproportionately affects certain communities — African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. While healthcare disparities are not new, the pandemic is shining a bright light on persistent, systemic inequities in healthcare in this country. Unequal access to economic opportunities and healthcare facilities, structural inequality, bias, and discrimination are just some of the systemic hurdles many communities face.” What’s all this mean? We’re sensitive to what’s happening. We’re eager to see life return to pre-pandemic status. We want to offer the most hopeful news we can. We definitely do not want to do anything simply for business reasons. Yet, we wouldn't be upholding our responsibility to better health for everyone if we don’t advise some level of vigilance. Again, we just don’t know. Back to that STAT article: “While the virus will almost certainly evolve to get better at spreading in a given setting, experts can’t predict whether it will get more or less dangerous on an individual level. ‘One of the most persistent myths surrounding pathogen evolution’ is that viruses change over time to be less virulent, three experts wrote in a commentary last month. Omicron happened to be less virulent than Delta, but viruses can pick up random mutations that instead make them nastier. The possibility of a variant emerging, the experts warned, that features ‘the potentially disastrous combination of the ability to reinfect’ along with ‘high virulence is unfortunately very real.’ Fact or fear? In this case, we’ll err on the side of science and agree with the experts. What’s that mean to you and the population for which you’re responsible? Be ready with a testing and treatment plan should the need arise Continue to offer to test to those in your community who find peace of mind through that process Since natural immunity is known to be a beneficial by-product of having COVID, promote this as a reason to get tested. It’s the one instance in which a positive result could be good news, assuming a mild case — since, instead of wondering, people can rest a bit easier knowing their immune systems will learn the virus and offer protection. So, the old adage, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” seems appropriate. And at Simple HealthKit, that’s our approach. We’re busy developing new diagnostics to help an ever-growing population of people get a handle on their health (the first step to improving it), we’re actively looking for partners to help stem the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (by the way, it surprised us to learn the incidence of STDs actually went up during the pandemic — but more about that next time). And we’re still working with partners (existing and new) to provide our COVID-19 diagnostics to organizations that share our hope-and-prepare philosophy. If you think we might be kindred spirits, let's connect. It’s that Simple.

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  • Notice of Privacy Practices | Simple HealthKit

    Notice of HIPAA Privacy Policies This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. ​ ​ Overview of Your Rights You have the right to: ​ Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record Request a correction to your paper or electronic medical record Request confidential communication Ask us to limit the information we share Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information Get a copy of this privacy notice Choose someone to act for you File a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated ​ ​ Overview of Your Choices You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we: ​ Provide disaster relief Provide mental health care Market our services and sell your information Tell family and friends about your condition Raise funds ​ ​ Overview of Our Uses and Disclosures ​ We may use and share your information as we: ​ Treat you Run our organization Bill for your services Help with public health and safety issues Do research Comply with the law Work with a medical examiner or funeral director Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests Respond to lawsuits and legal actions ​ ​ Your Rights in Detail ​ When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you. ​ Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record ​ You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this. We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee. ​ Ask us to correct your medical record ​ You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this. We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days. ​ Request confidential communications ​ You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests. ​ Ask us to limit what we use or share ​ You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care. If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information. ​ Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information ​ You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months. ​ Get a copy of this privacy notice ​ You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly. ​ Choose someone to act for you ​ If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action. ​ File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated ​ You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us at Privacy Officer at privacy@simplehealthkit.com You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775 , or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/ . We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. ​ ​ Your Choices in Detail ​ For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions. ​ In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to: ​ Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care Share information in a disaster relief situation ​ If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety. ​ In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission: ​ Marketing purposes Sale of your information Most sharing of psychotherapy notes ​ In the case of fundraising: ​ We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again. ​ ​ Our Uses and Disclosures in Detail ​ How do we typically use or share your health information? ​ We typically use or share your health information in the following ways. ​ Treat you ​ We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you. ​ Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition. ​ Run our organization ​ We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary. ​ Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services. ​ Bill for your services ​ We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities. ​ Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services. ​ How else can we use or share your health information? ​ We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html . Help with public health and safety issues ​ We can share health information about you for certain situations such as: ​​ Preventing disease Helping with product recalls Reporting adverse reactions to medications Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety ​ Do research ​ We can use or share your information for health research. ​ Comply with the law ​ We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law. ​ Work with a medical examiner or funeral director ​ We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies. ​ Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests ​ We can use or share health information about you: ​ For workers’ compensation claims For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services ​ Respond to lawsuits and legal actions ​ We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena. ​ Our Responsibilities ​ We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it. We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind. ​ For more information see: ​ www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html ​ ​ Changes to the Terms of this Notice ​ We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site. ​ ​ Other instructions for this notice ​​ This notice is effective as of: August 29th, 2022 If you have questions about these laws please contact the privacy officer at privacy@simplehealthkit.com We never market or sell personal information. If one of our providers believes that a patient/client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, the provider is required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, and/or seeking hospitalization for the patient/client. If a patient/client presents a serious and credible threat to harm themselves, our providers may be obligated to seek hospitalization for them or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection. In most cases, if a patient/client is under the age of 18, our staff must have the consent of the parent/s or guardian/s to provide mental health treatment barring circumstances in which obtaining the guardian’s consent may cause significant harm, in which case we reserve the right to refer to alternative, specialized agencies. In cases which only one parent/guardian has custody or power for medical decision-making, we may need documentation substantiating such. It is the policy of our organization that parents are involved in treatment, with the caveat that an adolescent is able to express what they want this clinician to share. This will not always direct treatment, but it is at the discretion of the provider to keep information confidential with an adolescent to ensure the creation of a safe space for the younger individual and improve their treatment outcomes. However, if there is an immediate safety concern, the parents will be promptly notified. If applicable, insurance companies are made aware of diagnoses, visit types, lab results and other clinically necessary information for continued provision of services. Sometimes, insurance companies may contact the patient/client by mail, telephone or other means. In circumstances in which a patient/client is concerned about their confidentiality as it relates to their insurance company, it would be prudent for the patient/client to pay privately and not utilize their insurance benefits. If we are contacted by emergency room providers who disclose to us your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will first reach out to you and your emergency contact on our file to verify the authenticity of such claim. If we are unsuccessful in this outreach, we may disclose protected health information (PHI) to the hospital personnel based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only information that is directly relevant to the outside contact’s involvement in your health care. We would not, however, disclose information unrelated to your emergency care. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, or other similar forms of PHI. Appointment reminders: We may use or disclose your name and basic appointment information in providing you with appointment reminders (such as voice mails, e-mails, postcards, SMS messages, or letters) that may reference the practices of medicine or mental health services. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

  • Public Health Diagnostic Testing Solutions

    Public Health Our easy, end-to-end testing solutions can be deployed at scale for your population to improve access, treatments and outcomes. Partner with us Trusted By “SHK has been a great, responsive partner.....[we love their] Responsiveness to our unique needs, willingness to work within our constraints.” Trusted By Learn More Covid-19 Test Program Deploy affordable and customizable screening programs for your population. Learn More Sexual Wellness Program Join our easy-to-use, multiple-site STI program (HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Syphilis) to safeguard the health of your community Learn More Respiratory Program Test for Influenza A/B and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Learn More Other Programs We have a pipeline of programs in our roadmap. If you don’t see a program here that works for you or your organization, please reach out to us. Our Programs Partner with us “Our experience has been very easy. The staff have helped us promptly when we have questions or needed restocking of supplies. There is a quick turnaround. The process flows very smoothly.” Seamless end-to-end journey for patients We make sure that our products and services are easy to use, from registering the test kits, collecting samples to accessing results–with or without insurance. Learn more Thoughtful after-care options We provide customized options for patients who receive positive test results because we believe that no one should be left alone in the process of recovery. Learn more Easy management and access to data We support partners with access to the patient and testing information along with an overview of the health information of the organization. We provide integration across systems so your patient data belongs to you. Learn more Other modular services In addition to the services above, we also provide multiple services from end-to-end, including insurance billing, etc. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help your organization scale up screening programs. Reach out to us Better health for all. It’s t hat s imple. Contact us

  • Diagnostic Testing Solutions for Organizations

    Solutions We know managing the health of your organization can be a lot of work. We are here to help make it simple. Partner with us Find Your Solution Education We act as an extension of your on-campus health service with full-service, on-site testing programs to keep your students, faculty, and staff safe. See Solutions Employers Our easy, end-to-end testing solutions can be customized for small businesses or enterprises. Keep your employees safe with affordable testing programs to improve health outcomes. See Solutions Retail and Providers Our patient-focused diagnostic solutions co-exist with your consumers' needs at retail clinics and pharmacies. Looking to extend your services? Talk to us! See Solutions Public Health Our easy, end-to-end testing solutions can be deployed at scale for your population to improve access, treatments and outcomes. See Solutions Don’t see your industry? We work with different communities to tailor our solutions to their needs. Reach out to us! reach out to us Knowing your health should be easy. It’s that simple. 👋 Contact us Knowing your health should be easy. It’s that simple. 👋 Contact us Better health for all. It’s that simple. Contact us

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