UPMC: Centered Around Community (7/21) - Funding from UPMC Health Plan’s partnership with Partner4Work, part of the Allegheny County Workforce Development Board, was leveraged during the COVID-19 pandemic to support Freedom House’s work to recruit, train, and employ underserved and economically disadvantaged community members, while providing social needs supports.
AHA: Bridging the Gap Between Clinical Care and Community Population Health (7/28) – The AHA hosted a podcast episode with Kevin Barnett, senior investigator with the Public Health Institute and board member for Trinity Health, to discuss what it will take for rural providers to bridge the gap between clinical care and community population health, while also improving health equity.
CareSource: Greene County Food Distribution Beats theHeat
(7/31) – CareSource teamed with the Foodbank, Inc in Ohio to support the second of six CareSource food distributions of the year.
Vizient: Vizient Grants Public Access to the Vizient Vulnerability Index for Healthcare Provider to Assess Health Equity in their Communities
(8/2) – Vizient announced it is granting public access to its Vizient Vulnerability Index at no cost, providing a unique level of visibility for healthcare organizations to assess social determinants of health that impact health equity in the communities they serve.
Senate Appropriations Committee: Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations (7/27) – The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced by a 26-2 vote its fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill and report language for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies.
Aligning for Health is thrilled that Appropriators continue to invest in programs addressing social determinants of health, including $8M in continued funding to the CDC to implement the CDC’s Social Determinant Accelerator Program. See here
for additional highlights.
Mental Health for Latinos Act (7/25) – Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced the Mental Health for Latinos Act (H.R. 4884/S. 2476), which would require HHS to create a strategy providing information on evidence-based practices, subpopulations, collateral materials, and COVID-19 as it related to improving behavioral health care amongst the Latino population.
Promoting Access to Treatment and Housing (PATH) Act (7/26) – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Promoting Access to Treatment and Housing (PATH) Act (H.R. 4941), which would establish a new federal center and grant program to dramatically expand access to mental and behavioral health services, including substance use disorder treatment, for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.
Enabling Farmers to Benefit from Processing Nutrition Programs Act (7/26) – Rep Scholten (D-MI) and Sen. Smith (D-MN) introduced the Enabling Farmers to Benefit from Processing Nutrition Programs Act (H.R. 4943/S. 2504), which would remove administrative hurdles that cause small and independent farmers and ranchers to miss out on the benefits from federal nutrition programs.
To view a full list of the legislation we are tracking around social determinants of health, health equity/disparities, and maternal health in the 118th Congress, click here.
White House: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Promote Access to Behavioral Health Care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities (7/26) – The Biden administration hosted its inaugural mental health summit focused on improving equity and access to behavioral health care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities.
CMS: Fiscal Year 2024 Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Prospective Payment System and Quality Reporting Final Rule (7/27) – CMS finalized its FY 2024 payment update for inpatient psychiatric facilities, which notable includes three measures focused on health equity for the quality reporting program.
CMS:Fiscal Year 2024 Hospice Payment Rate Update Final Rule (7/28) – CMS finalized its FY 2024 payment update for hospice programs, which seeks to examine health equity under the hospice benefit and updates health equity quality measures.
CMS: Building on CMS’s Accountable Care Vision to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries
(7/31) – CMS authors penned this article published in Health Affairs describing progress to date in the CMS accountable care strategy and outlining areas that CMS is exploring to grow the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), increase alignment between MSSP and ACO models, and advance health equity.
CMS: Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model (7/31) – CMS announced a new voluntary nationwide model, which aims to support people living with dementia and their unpaid caregivers. The model would also require participants to screen beneficiaries for psychosocial needs and health-related social needs and help navigate them to local CBOs to address such needs.
ONC: Hospitals Collect and Receive Social Needs Data, but Usage Varies
(7/31) – HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT posted a blog analyzing data from the 2022 American Hospital Association Information Technology Supplement Survey, finding that 83 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals collected data on patients health-related social needs, 60 percent received data from outside sources, and many reported using the data they collected internally and received from outside sources for various purposes.
HHS: HHS Awards $2.5 Million to Help Decrease Food Insecurity in Native Communities
(7/31) – HHS, through the Indian Health Service, awarded $2.5 million in funding to support the development of produce prescription programs in tribal communities in order to help reduce food insecurity and improve health care outcomes among American Indian and Alaska Native people.
HUD: HUD Issues Invitation for Public Housing Agencies to Join Moving to Work Demonstration Program (7/31) – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is requesting applications for the Overall Impact of Moving to Work Flexibility and Administrative Efficiencies of the Moving to Work Demonstration program, which provides public housing authorities the opportunity to try “outside the box” ideas that address local community needs in innovative ways.
CMS: Fiscal Year 2024 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule
(8/2) – In its final FY24 inpatient prospective payment system rule, CMS finalized several policies focused on health equity, including a health equity adjustment in the scoring methodology for the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and a policy to recognize the higher costs that hospitals incur when treating people experiencing homelessness when hospitals report SDOH codes on claims.
SDoH & Health Equity in the News
Elevance Health: Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits Address Health-Related Social Needs (7/24) – Elevance Health found that the vast majority of their affiliated MA plan enrollees used at least one supplemental benefit in 2022, with a majority using multiple supplemental benefits. The analysis found that enrollees using at least one supplemental benefit are more likely to live in under-resourced areas, such as food deserts or areas with low socioeconomic status.
JAMA: Trends in Cardiovascular Health Counseling Among Postpartum Individuals (7/25) – Researchers found that the prevalence of self-reported postpartum counseling for healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight gained during pregnancy was approximately 60% and experienced small declines from 2016 through 2020 among individuals with pre-pregnancy cardiovascular disease risk factors or adverse pregnancy outcomes.
JAMA:Disparities in Travel-Related Barriers to Accessing Health Care From the 2017 National Household Travel Survey (7/27) – JAMA researchers concluded that achieving health equity in access to care will require the removal of access barriers that disproportionately affect socioeconomically disadvantaged and racially minoritized populations.
National Academies:U.S. Should Create a Federal Entity Responsible for Advancing Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity, and Implement a Health Equity Policy Audit and Score Card (7/27) – A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes that Congress create a new score card to assess how all proposed federal legislation might impact health equity in the future.
American Journal of Managed Care: Can Social Determinants Predict High-Cost Utilizers Among the Commercially Insured Population? (7/27) – This podcast explores a study published in the July 2023 issue of the American Journal of Managed Care on whether social determinants of health is a predictor for identifying high-cost utilizers among those with commercial health insurance.
Medical Economics: New Method Shows Promise for Extracting SDOH Data from ClinicalRecords (7/28) – A team of scientific investigators has demonstrated that it’s possible to extract unstructured SDoH data from EHRs using natural language processing and published their findings recently in a study in JAMIA Open.
Health Affairs: Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers for Health-Related Social Needs: A Problematic Tool (8/1) – In this Forefront piece, the author argues that the Administration should think bigger and more ambitiously than Medicaid section 1115 waivers in order to best address health-related social needs and improve health outcomes.
Nature: The Prevalence of Chronic and Episodic Loneliness and Social Isolation from a Longitudinal Survey (8/1) – In this study, found that loneliness is more prevalent than social isolation, however both chronic loneliness and social isolation remains neglected and poorly targeted within current practice and policy.
Center for Health Care Strategies: Financial Planning for Street Medicine Providers in California (August 2023) - This toolkit, includes practical, stepwise guidance and tools to help street medicine programs maximize their use of available funding, particularly new opportunities introduced through CalAIM.
December 4-6 – RISE and Aligning for Health, “Social Determinants of Health Policy Forum.” Aligning for Health is thrilled to be partnering with RISE for the Second Annual Social Determinants of Health Policy Forum this December, where we will convene leading policymakers with cross-sector practitioners to identify opportunities and advance policies that support stronger communities, better health, and solutions to address health and social needs.