Cision: Unite Us Partners with Healthix and Regional Social Care Networks to Improve Quality of Life for New York City and Long Island Residents (7/10) – Unite Us and Healthix are partnering to address drivers of health (DOH) in collaboration with the region's leading social care networks. Through their partnership, Healthix and Unite Us will provide the technology infrastructure needed to enable communication between healthcare systems and social care networks working to address unmet needs for services such as food, benefits, housing, transportation assistance, and more.
AHA: Enhancing Care for Older Patients with Age-Friendly HealthSystems
(7/12) – This podcast by the American Hospital Association explores one system’s journey as an Age-Friendly Health System, including the importance of addressing social isolation and social determinants of health.
Businesswire: Vizient Hosts Congressional Briefing on Social Determinants of Health (7/13) – Vizient hosted a policy briefing titled, “Beyond the Four Walls: How Hospitals are Addressing Social Determinants of Health,” which featured remarks by Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Dwight Evans (D-PA), and Representative Jake Ellzey (R-TX), and focused on how hospitals are actively addressing the external factors that impact community health.
News-Topic:Blue Cross N.C. invests $4.3M to support families through Child Welfare System (7/19) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, a member of AFH member Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, has invested more than $4.3 million in partnerships, programs and initiatives to support children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system. Since 2019, these investments have helped to increase the number of available foster families, address the mental health needs of children, strengthen families across the state and provide opportunities for youth transitioning out of foster care.
Proper Leadership to Align Networks (PLAN) for Broadband Act (7/10) – Reps. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) introduced the Proper Leadership to Align Networks (PLAN) for Broadband Act (H.R. 4505), which would direct the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to develop a National Strategy to Close the Digital Divide. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), John Thune (R-SD), and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 2238).
Kira Johnson Act (7/11) – Sens. Raphel Warnock (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Kira Johnson Act (S. 2239), which would prevent maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity among Black pregnant and postpartum individuals and other underserved populations, provide training in respectful maternity care, and reduce and prevent bias, racism, and discrimination in maternity care settings.
Advancing Maternal Health Equity Under Medicaid Act (7/12) – Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) and nine cosponsors introduced the Advancing Maternal Health Equity Under Medicaid Act (H.R. 4585), which would provide a higher Federal matching rate for increased expenditures under Medicaid for maternal health care services.
Leveraging Integrated Networks in Communities through the VA to Address Social Needs (LINC VA) Act (7/12) – Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Leveraging Integrated Networks in Communities through the VA to Address Social Needs (LINC VA) Act (S. 2259), which would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to establish community integration network infrastructure for services for veterans, to require the collection from veterans of information related to SDOH.
Rural Wellness Act (7/13) – Reps. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) and Brad Finstad (R-MN) introduced the Rural Wellness Act (H.R. 4239), which would provide for the prioritization of projects that provide behavioral and mental health treatment services in selecting grantees under certain rural development programs, and extend the substance abuse disorder set-aside and priority under the programs.
SNAP Nutrition Security Act (7/13) – Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the SNAP Nutrition Security Act (S. 2326), which would improve diet quality and nutrition security.
Bridging the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Gap Act (7/20) – Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) introduced the Bridging the SNAP Gap Act (H.R. 4815/S. 2432) which would ensure that working students ages 17 to 21 can continue to receive their families’ benefits, and extend existing rules for seniors and people with disabilities so that all SNAP beneficiaries who spend at least $35 a month on health-related expenses can receive higher monthly SNAP benefits.
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.
Healthy People 2030: Social Determinants of Health Literature Summaries (July 2023) – Healthy People 2030 has released updated data and infographics illustrating how SDOH can influence health outcomes.
CMS: Expanded Report to Congress: Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in Medicaid, 2018-2021 (7/10) – CMS issued a second report to Congress on the use of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) benefits in Medicaid, assessing state-by-state coverage of the benefit and offering recommendations for Congress moving forward.
CMS: Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Physician Fee Schedule (7/13) – CMS released the Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Physician Fee Schedule, which includes several major proposals to expand Medicare payment for activities and services to screen and perform community health integration services to address health-related social needs and social determinants of health. Comments are due by September 11, 2023.
HUD:HUD Seeks Public Input to Enhance Accessibility and Usability of Programs, Paving the Way for Improved Housing Solutions (7/13) – HUD published a Request for Information requesting public feedback on c how the agency can make programs easier to access and use. Comments are due August 14.
CMS: Request for Information; Episode-Based Payment Model (7/14) – CMS released a request for information (RFI) to inform the development of future episode-based payment models. CMS included a number of questions related to health equity, quality measures and other incentives to address SDOH, social risk adjustment, and use of social needs data. Comments are due August 17, 2023.
NIH: Advancing Social Determinants of Health Research at NIH through Cross-Cutting Collaboration (7/17) – NIH is seeking to accelerate NIH-wide SDOH research across diseases and conditions, populations, stages of the life course, and SDOH domains. In fiscal year 2022, NIH invested $4.1B in funding more than 8,300 SDOH research and training programs and is continuing to expand this work in 2023 and beyond.
HUD: HUD Announces Initial Recipients for Thriving Communities Technical Assistance (7/18) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop announced the initial recipients of technical assistance offered through its Thriving Communities Technical Assistance program, which is designed to help local governments ensure housing needs are addressed as part of their infrastructure investment plans while supporting equitable development in disadvantaged communities.
CMS: CMS Approves California & Kentucky Requests to Provide Essential Behavioral Health Services Through Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (7/20) – CMS approved proposed from California and Kentucky for community-based mobile crisis intervention teams to provide Medicaid crisis services, expanding access to community-based mental health and substance use crisis care.
SDoH & Health Equity in the News
Health Affairs: Advancing Equity Versus Quality In Population-Based Models: Lessons From The New Proposed Rule (7/10) – Authors reviewed CMS’s IPPS rule from a health equity standpoint, focusing on a proposal to significant change to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, a longstanding program that compares a hospital’s performance on a set of measures to performance from a full set of hospitals nationwide. Under the proposed change, hospitals serving a greater percentage of dual-eligible patients would receive an equity adjustment that increases their quality performance scores – and in turn, performance scores for the payment program overall.
Fierce Healthcare:Providers rarely screen for maternal mental health. Are new guidelines enough to move the needle? (7/12) – Authors noted a recent survey found that 70% of women say they wish they had known more about postpartum mental health before giving birth, with the number even higher among women of color. It found that screening for mental health conditions was done more at well-woman visits (13%) than during pregnancy (5%) or postpartum (9%), with the most common age category screened being 65 to 88 years old.
Daily Nurse: Building the Nursing Pipeline by Addressing Social Determinants of Learning (7/13) – This article asserts that the nursing leadership team at Adtalem Global Education helps nursing schools better meet the needs of their students through the Social Determinants of Learning (SDOL). Principles that emphasize access over exclusivity and put students at the center, and ultimately, help decrease the nursing shortage. If adopted more widely, the article claims that the framework can help nursing schools better meet the needs of their students and, ultimately, help reduce the nursing shortage.
STAT News: In N.C., Mandy Cohen built bridges to GOP. Can she find consensus as new CDC director? (7/14) – STAT News reported that new CDC director Mandy Cohen has a history of working well with Republicans, which can help her in her new role, citing as an example her work in North Carolina to implement a Medicaid demonstration program aimed at addressing social determinants.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle:Health Leaders Bring Solutions to Maryland’s Social Determinants of Health (7/14) – The Southern Maryland Chronicle reported on Maryland’s 2023 Maryland State of Reform Health Policy Conference in person at the Baltimore Convention Center to discuss initiatives to address SDoH and health equity. Examples of the initiatives discussed were those implemented by Aetna Better Health of Maryland, such as opening health education centers focusing on SDoH.
Fierce Healthcare:As value-based health moves from philosophy to reality, providers, payers focus on equity and interoperability (7/17) – Fierce Healthcare reported that equity was at the forefront of Reuters’ value-based health conference in Philadelphia last month. Over two days, executives from accountable care organizations, health systems and payers spoke about interoperability, population health, social determinants, the cost of care and taking on risk. Across the board, speakers agreed that the transition to value-based care (VBC) is both inevitable and critical to improving the healthcare system.
ICD10 Monitor:Understanding the Intersection: SDoH and CMS Star Rating Quality Measures (7/17) – In reference to CMS’s recent proposed rules, this article explains that recognizing and addressing these determinants, therefore, is crucial not just for maintaining high-quality healthcare services, but for ensuring equitable care for all, regardless of their circumstances.
Managed Healthcare Executive:How One Health System Uses AI-based Technologies to Identify Patients’ Social Determinants of Health (7/17) – Managed Healthcare Executive said that social determinants of health play a substantial role in driving health outcomes — both positive and negative. Until recently, however, providers have faced significant challenges in identifying patients who could benefit from SDOH interventions, resulting in missed opportunities to improve patient health at the individual and population levels.
Health Affairs: Addressing The Mental Health Equity Crisis: Can The Private Sector Lead? (7/19) – This article explains that historically marginalized communities continue to experience a widening disparity between mental health needs and therapeutic intervention and access: The impact of the mental health crisis has hit these communities harder than others.
Cision: Medecision Releases New Report Highlighting the Power of Tech-Enabled Interventions to Support Healthcare Industry's Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Strategy (7/19) – Medecision announced the release of a new industry report highlighting how real-time technology is incentivizing the healthcare industry to address barriers to care and improve outcomes. The report, A New Dawn for the Healthcare Industry's SDOH Strategy, has found that the ability to collect and activate SDOH data is often hampered by an array of challenges ranging from interoperability limitations and incompatible technology data stacks, to stakeholder communication and more.
New Research and Reports
Journal of the American Heart Association:Health and Economic Impacts of Implementing Produce Prescription Programs for Diabetes in the United States: A Microsimulation Study (7/7) – Researchers reviews the impacts of providing “produce prescriptions,” determining that it could have significant health benefits and save billions of dollars in health care costs.
Journal of the American Medical Association:Association of Racial Discrimination With Adiposity in Children and Adolescents (7/11) – Researchers found that that at least one experience of racial discrimination resulted in an increase in BMI and waist circumference one year later.
American Academy of Pediatrics:Z-Codes: The First Step in Overcoming Barriers to Social Determinants of Health Documentation (7/11) – AAP found that despite the well-known clinical significance of SDOH, several studies in adult inpatient literature show that these “Z-codes” are vastly underutilized.
BMC Public Health: Community-based organization perspectives on participating in state-wide community canvassing program aimed to reduce COVID-19 vaccine disparities in California (7/14) – This research concluded that inequities in COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and reliable COVID-related information disproportionately affected marginalized racial and ethnic communities in the U.S. The Get Out the Vaccine (GOTVax) program, an innovative statewide government-funded COVID-19 vaccine canvassing program in California, aimed to reduce structural barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in high-risk communities with low vaccination rates.
Corporation for Supportive Housing: Health and Housing Efforts to Reducing Health Disparities and Build Towards Systems Integration (July 2023) - The Health and Housing Partnership field has grown significantly over the last decade, aiming for systems integration to improve population health, build health equity and use our health care and other resources more effectively and efficiently. This publication explores a list of the various types of projects that can come under the heading of Health and Housing activities.
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.