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Viewpoints Blog

Through Member collaboration, MCRA helps drive performance improvements, deliver exceptional service, transform care, and champion the health and wellbeing of the communities we collectively serve.

Leveraging Community-based Support Groups to Address SDoH and Health Equity, Improve Health Outcomes, and Increase Member Loyalty

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MCRA Industry Leader Interview with special guest: Wider Circle

In this MCRA Industry Leader Interview, MCRA CEO, Barry Volin, speaks with VP of Payer and Provider Engagement at Wider Circle, Bill Friedman, on the important topic of leveraging community-based support groups to address SDoH and health equity, improve health outcomes, and increase member loyalty.

Wider Circle is a community health organization that comes to members’ neighborhoods to build trust and engage in places payers can’t reach. They are an extension of the health plan, acting upstream to address SDoH, to improve member care experiences and outcomes, and lower the cost of care.

By leveraging proprietary technology to group similar individuals with engagement specialists from within the community, Wider Circle creates a neighborhood network of members who influence and support one another, bonding them to their plan and helping them maximize their benefits and community resources to live a happier, healthier life.

Latest results from our yearlong, ten-state study in DSNP were outstanding. We have been advised by our clients Senior Clinical Leadership that "there is no other solution that the carrier employs from a Case Management perspective, that touches as many members as Wider Circle." —Bill Friedman

In this interview, Bill shares some of the client-engagement challenges facing health plans today, as well as what makes Wider Circle's unique solution effective in the community.

With data and results to demonstrate effectiveness, Wider Circle is confident in their solution. This data-driven approach equips their specialists with the knowledge they need to facilitate the most effective conversation to influence and close gaps. Their community based approach that socially engineers similar individuals with similar experiences leverages the psychology of influence to instigate and reinforce behavior change. This allows Wider Circle to demonstrably close care gaps for a wide diversity of populations across Medicare, Duals and Medicaid programs.

To learn more about Wider Circle, visit

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Bill Friedman VP of Payer and Provider Engagement Wider Circle

Bill has deep expertise in selling and marketing digital health engagement solutions to payers and providers with an intimate knowledge of the health payer landscape. Most recently, Bill led payer sales at Carrot Fertility, a global provider of fertility benefits. Prior to Carrot, Bill led all sales and lead generation for Zipari, a SaaS-based consumer engagement solution for health insurers. His team was instrumental in the company's growth from startup to scale and eventual acquisition by Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity firm. Additionally, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for Health Republic Insurance of New York, the largest CO-OP health insurance carrier in the nation, leading sales operations, broker relations, strategic sales planning, and marketing growing the company from startup to 220,000 members in less than three years. Prior to joining Health Republic, Bill served as Senior Vice President of Sales at Easy Choice Health Plan of New York, where he was vital in launching the company’s Medicare Advantage products, and Atlantis Health Plan, a provider-owned HMO focused on the commercial health insurance space. Bill's recent speaking engagements include AHIP and The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health.

In his spare time, Bill enjoys live music, playing guitar, the NY Yankees, and he is currently studying for his private pilot’s license. He lives in New York's lower Hudson Valley with his wife, Lisa, four children, and two poodles.


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