Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

ThriveLink

What is the name of your solution?

Artificailly Intellegent Enrollment Agents

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

ThriveLink builds telephonic AI enrollment agents who empower families to verbally enroll into social programs with no internet or reading required.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

St. Louis, MO, USA

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • United States

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Families across the globe continue to struggle unnecessarily because they are not able to overcome administrative hurdles to social resources like food, housing, healthcare, and citizenship. Said another way, poor people can't access resources because they can't complete the paperwork.

This problem impacts 130 million US adults (54%), disproportionately impacting low-income families, African American, and Latino families, people with disabilities, and people over 70. This problem either currently does or will impact 2.7 billion people globally. 

In the US alone, more than $90 billion in resources for low-income families go unaccessed every year because families are not able to complete the paperwork or online applications. For example, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2023, 69% of all people who lost Medicaid coverage last year did so because of "paperwork." The California Health Care Foundation reported that this number is 90% in California.

Additionally, on average, social workers in the UK, where many of the programs are universal, spend more than 14 hours per week attempting to enroll families into these programs.

There are numerous reasons this happens including:

Internet access - Only 66% of the world's population have access to the internet. This is interestingly nearly identical to the percentage of people who have access across the poorest states in America, including Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alaska. Globally, the list of countries is too numerous to list, but it includes nearly the entire African continent, most of South America, and a large portion of Asia. Note this data only represents access, and much smaller number of people use the internet.

Reading and Comprehension - In the US, 130 million people struggle to read effectively enough to independently navigate the program administrative hurdles. This ranges from 32 million people who have extremely limited literacy abilities to 100 million who have some literacy but struggle to navigate complex phrases like "gross income."

Stigma - When families are not able to access the programs independently, asking for help is even more difficult.

Awareness - Although "1 in 5 older adults skipped or delayed medications last year because of cost," it's rare that we meet a person who is aware of the Medicare Extra/Low Income Subsidy Help program, which is available to every low-income person in the US over 65 and offers benefits that average $5,30

What is your solution?

ThriveLink builds telephonic AI enrollment agents that empower families to verbally enroll in social programs with no internet or reading required. Our vision is to replace apps and websites, making it easy for families to simply verbalize their answers to application questions over the phone. Nurses across the globe struggle with this problem, and ThriveLink won the American Nurses Association 2024 Innovation Award.

This nurse-led innovation was built to mirror the experience that nurses have in emergency departments and community clinics. Every day, we support families who need to sign up for social programs like Medicaid and utility assistance, and the only way we can help them is by rephrasing the application questions, listening to patients' answers, and then writing them on the application. As such, our artificial intelligence not only mirrors that experience but also offers more programs than any singular person could ever know.

ThriveLink was developed based on feedback from Medicaid beneficiaries throughout California and community health doctors in rural parts of Missouri and North Carolina. In our first clinical pilot at one of the largest health systems in America, the first 28 patients received more than $20,000 in resources! None of the clinics that we partner with had any support staff, and this would not have happened without ThriveLink.

- 28 patients utilized (67% utilization) - $20,859 - Resources received - $745 Average Resources per patient - 50% SNAP/WIC, 25% Medicaid/SSI, 25% Rent and Utility

Here is a link to our "How It Works" video.

Here is a list of programs that our customers commonly utilize, and the time their staff saves.

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution, ThriveLink, is dedicated to serving individuals facing reading barriers, a population often overlooked in accessing essential programs. These individuals, like Sarah, often struggle to navigate complex paperwork and applications necessary for accessing crucial services such as health insurance, food stamps, and utility assistance. ThriveLink aims to address this challenge by providing a user-friendly platform where individuals can verbally express their responses to AI enrollment agents, who then transcribe the information accurately into relevant application forms. By simplifying the enrollment process, ThriveLink ensures that individuals like Sarah can access the support they need without the added stress of navigating bureaucratic hurdles.

Sarah's story:

Most doctors' offices don’t have social workers or support staff who can help patients enroll in social programs. However, all doctors' offices are required to assess whether patients need help enrolling in these programs, and when they do, they are required to assist them. In our pilot, a mom in North Carolina met with her doctor and had very serious clinical needs, but she was not able to attend her specialist visits because she was working overtime to pay her utility bill. She had a young son, and her lights were going to be turned off because she was late on the bill. The doctor did not have any resources to help her, but he had ThriveLink and gave her the phone number. In a short phone call, she answered a few questions and then enrolled in the local utility assistance program, all without the need for internet access or reading. She received a text two weeks later that paid her $519 utility bill.

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our founder is a healthcare lawyer and an experienced emergency department nurse who has led in hospitals and health insurance plans. However, he grew up in a low-income community near Chicago, raised by his mom and grandparents while his dad was incarcerated. These firsthand personal and professional experiences guided him to build a team that possesses both the passion and the lived experiences needed to design and deliver this solution in a way that will transform the lives of the communities we serve. We are not just advocates but also relatable partners for our target population.

- Proximity to Target Demographic: Every member of our team comes from a background rooted in the same challenges and circumstances faced by the communities we serve. We have firsthand experiences growing up in low-income households and communities. Our team members have also personally navigated issues such as drug addiction within our immediate families, incarceration, experience in the foster system, and have lived as first-generation immigrants. Furthermore, many of us come from households with undocumented family members. We are a diverse team that encompasses racial and ethnic minorities, making us intimately familiar with the unique struggles faced by these communities.

- Community Needs: We actively engage with and support families in need across the country through free pilot programs. The valuable feedback and insights we receive from these community interactions are the driving force behind our innovation. Our journey began with a singular focus on guiding families to food resources. However, our ongoing engagement with communities revealed a broader need for social support beyond just food. In response to community feedback, we expanded our platform to include utilities and housing support.

- Commitment to Accessibility: Recognizing the need to ensure our platform remains accessible to the patients we serve, we incorporated quality measures and wellness visits into our offering. This strategic decision allows us to offer billable services and partner with health plans and employers at scale, ensuring that our platform remains free to the community. Our commitment to providing accessible support for social, economic, and healthcare needs is at the forefront of our mission.

- Collective Expertise: Our team brings a wealth of experience to the table, with a combined total of 10 years in sales, 15 years in social service expertise, and 10 years in technical development. This diverse skill set enables us to effectively tackle complex challenges and continue to develop our revolutionary platform.

Our team's collective experiences and unwavering commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of the communities we serve guide the meaningful design and implementation of our solution. We are not just observers; we are active participants who share the experiences and backgrounds of the communities we serve. Our ongoing engagement with and feedback from these communities ensure that our platform remains responsive to their needs, input, ideas, and agendas. This approach ensures that our solution is not only designed by us but is also co-created with the communities we aim to empower.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Increase capacity and resilience of health systems, including workforce, supply chains, and other infrastructure.

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health and Well-Being
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot

Please share details about why you selected the stage above.

We have served more than 2,000 patients in controlled environments. In our first paid pilot at one of the largest health systems in the US, the first 28 patients received $20,000 in resources. We are now installing AI Enrollment Agents into 30 more locations and integrating into 2 of the most prominent electronic medical record and social service systems in the US.

We started with healthcare in the US because Social Drivers of Health screenings, called the Social Determinants of Health screenings, are conducted on every single patient in hospitals and clinics across America. This accounts for about 1 billion screenings per year. When nurses complete these screenings, they are required to respond to patients' social determinative health needs. Nurses do not have the capacity to sign people up for these programs, so our AI enrollment agents have the potential to support all 1 billion patients without any additional work for clinical staff.

Why are you applying to Solve?

Social drivers of health screenings are done on every single patient in hospitals and clinics across America. This accounts for about 1 billion screenings per year. When nurses complete these screenings, they are required to respond to patients' social determinative health needs. Nurses do not have the capacity to sign people up for these programs, so our AI enrollment agents have the potential to support all 1 billion patients without any additional work for clinical staff.

The social drivers of health screening only became a requirement for healthcare in January of 2023. The current widely adopted process is what healthcare describes as navigation, which means clinical staff simply tell a patient where to go to get additional support. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "Navigation alone did not increase beneficiaries’ connection to community services or health-related social need resolution." 100% of patients receive support, and in 80% of those cases, patients are enrolled in programs. Our first study showed that 28 patients received more than $20,000 in resources with little to no work for clinical staff.

We need research partners, preferably Medicaid plans or health systems, to whom we can offer our artificially intelligent enrollment agents. We can track not only the resources those patients receive but also quantitative data, including hospital readmissions, medication adherence, patient experience, and length of stay. We would also like to study qualitative data like stress, upward mobility, feelings of safety and security, and other data points that are not as measurable, to learn how this unprecedented access to resources impacts the lives of the families we serve.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Kwamane Liddell, JD, MHA, BSN - CEO

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

ThriveLink replaces apps, websites, paperwork, and internet for families who need social support.

Firstly, ThriveLink's platform is voice-activated, eliminating the need for patients to navigate complex applications independently. This feature ensures accessibility for individuals with reading barriers, opening doors to healthcare coverage for millions who would otherwise struggle to enroll. Additionally, ThriveLink's platform is available in over 75 languages, further enhancing accessibility and inclusivity for diverse populations.

Secondly, ThriveLink's solution is the only one on the market that does not require a smartphone. Patients can simply call in to access the platform, making it accessible to those without access to smart devices or internet connectivity. This unique approach significantly expands the reach of healthcare enrollment efforts, reaching individuals who may be overlooked by traditional digital platforms.

ThriveLink's innovation extends beyond accessibility to efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By leveraging AI technology, ThriveLink streamlines the enrollment process, reducing the time and resources required for healthcare providers and social workers to assist patients. While competitors typically require 20-60 minutes of social worker time per application, ThriveLink's AI social workers can complete enrollments in just 2-5 minutes. This efficiency not only improves the patient experience but also generates substantial cost savings for hospitals, with potential savings of up to $10,000 per occurrence in reduced length of stay, improved mortality rates, and lower readmission rates.

ThriveLink's innovative solution has the potential to catalyze broader positive impacts within the healthcare industry. By demonstrating the effectiveness of voice-activated, language-inclusive platforms in improving healthcare access and reducing administrative burdens, ThriveLink sets a new standard for healthcare enrollment solutions. As other organizations and stakeholders recognize the value of these innovations, they may be inspired to adopt similar approaches, leading to a more inclusive and efficient healthcare landscape overall. ThriveLink's solution has the power to not only transform the market but also drive meaningful change in healthcare accessibility for millions of individuals nationwide.



Describe in simple terms how and why you expect your solution to have an impact on the problem.

In the US more than $90B in resources go unused each year, and it is well documented that paperwork the most prominent barrier to social programs including medicaid, food stamps, and utility assistance. 

On our first try in a live clinical environment, 28 people received $20,000 because the administrative barrier was completely eliminated. This process takes place 1 billion times per year in the US alone, imagine what happens when every person has this same simplified access.

What are your impact goals for your solution and how are you measuring your progress towards them?

Enroll families into $1 billion in resources by 2026. We already track the dollar values and program categories including healthcare, food, housing, and finance. 

Our solution directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 for Good Health and Well-Being by focusing on two critical aspects: improving access to essential health services and addressing health disparities.

1. Improving Access to Essential Health Services: Our platform enhances access to vital healthcare services by simplifying the process of enrolling individuals into healthcare programs and services. Through AI Social Workers, we enable patients to easily access healthcare resources, schedule wellness visits, vaccinations, and undergo healthcare screenings. This approach ensures that individuals, especially those in underserved communities, can receive essential healthcare services promptly and without financial hardship.

2. Addressing Health Disparities: Health disparities, including those caused by environmental and commercial factors, are a significant concern in achieving the goal of "Health for All." Our platform is designed to address these disparities by providing a user-friendly interface that caters to diverse populations, including those with limited literacy skills. By offering culturally competent and multilingual interactions, we prioritize inclusivity and aim to bridge the gap in accessing healthcare resources.

Through our commitment to simplifying the enrollment process and making it accessible to all, we contribute to the overarching objective of achieving universal health coverage. We empower individuals, especially those in vulnerable populations, to access healthcare services without financial obstacles, aligning with the goal of ensuring that everyone can access quality health services.

Furthermore, our platform's focus on addressing social determinants of health, such as housing and food insecurity, aligns with the broader goal of improving people's overall well-being. By offering support for these critical social needs, we contribute to the creation of healthier communities and individuals.

In summary, our solution aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 by enhancing access to healthcare services, addressing health disparities, and focusing on the holistic well-being of individuals and communities. Through our innovative approach, we aim to catalyze positive impacts not only in healthcare but also in the broader space of social determinants of health. By providing a model for simplifying access to vital resources, we hope to inspire others to take decisive actions to ensure health equity for all.


Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

ThriveLink's core technology revolves around a robust database comprising over 58,000 program options and trillions of potential data points, significantly larger than those of our competitors. This extensive database enables us to offer a wide array of social programs and resources, ensuring that users can access the support they need to thrive.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

5 fulltime

How long have you been working on your solution?

6 years

Tell us about how you ensure that your team is diverse, minimizes barriers to opportunity for staff, and provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for all team members.

This platform was built for us by us, and that ethos extends to every aspect of our approach, especially when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI). Our commitment to DEI is ingrained in our mission, values, and daily operations. To ensure DEI remains at the forefront, we have required training and participation in community programs to ensure our team members are exposed to the various perspectives that our team members and patients share.

Diverse Leadership Team: Our leadership team reflects the communities we serve. We are proud of our diverse leadership, with members representing various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our collective experiences include growing up in low-income households, navigating healthcare disparities, and personally understanding the challenges our target population face including drug abuse, the justice system, and foster system. 

Inclusive Decision-Making: Inclusivity is at the core of our decision-making processes. We actively seek input and perspectives from all team members, ensuring that diverse voices are heard and valued. This practice extends to our product development, where we consider the needs of underserved communities at every stage.

Ongoing Education: We are committed to continuous learning and education on DEI topics. Our team participates in regular training sessions, workshops, and discussions to deepen our understanding of the issues affecting the communities we serve. 

We also require all team members to become Community Health Workers which requires curriculum and experiences that include:

Effective communication with clients, families, and providers

  • Ethical considerations for CHWs

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Motivational interviewing

  • Cultural competency in communication

  • Health promotion and disease prevention

Common health problems in the community

  • Risk factors and protective factors for disease

  • Health promotion and disease prevention strategies

  • Culturally appropriate health education

  • Case management and referral

Assessing client needs

  • Developing and implementing care plans

  • Referring clients to appropriate resources

  • Community organizing and advocacy

  • Developing and implementing community health interventions

Volunteer and Community Engagement: We engage with community leaders, organizations, and advocates to understand the specific needs of our target population. By actively listening to their concerns and insights, we can tailor our platform to better serve these communities.

Equitable Access: Ensuring equitable access to our platform is a priority. We partner with healthcare systems and organizations to offer our services at no cost to underserved patients. This removes financial barriers and levels the playing field, allowing everyone to benefit from our solution.

Recruitment and Outreach: We actively recruit talent from diverse backgrounds and communities. Our goal is to build a team that reflects the diversity of the populations we serve. Additionally, we engage in outreach initiatives to foster relationships with organizations and communities that align with our mission.

In summary, diversity, equity, and inclusivity are not just buzzwords for us; they are fundamental principles guiding our work. We recognize that the path to health equity requires a deep commitment to DEI, and we are dedicated to driving meaningful change for underserved populations by addressing the root causes of disparities.

Solution Team

 
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