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Social Determinants Updates

February 7 to February 21, 2020

Welcome to this edition of Aligning for Health’s Social Determinants Updates newsletter.  

In this newsletter you'll find updates on the Social Determinants Accelerator Ac;, our member organizations; other notable articles on research, data and news related to social determinants; and upcoming events and opportunities. 

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Member News

AHIP: (2/20) – AFH members UPMC and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina are featured in this AHIP blog for their initiatives to address social determinants outside of the doctor’s office.

AHA: (2/18) – On this American Hospital Association (AHA) Advancing Health podcast, Jay Bhatt D.O., AHA Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, and Maurice Jones, President of LISC discuss social determinants of health and how collaborations between hospitals and community development organizations can advance health equity.

Fierce Healthcare: (2/18) – Humana CEO Bruce Broussard discussed their recent joint venture to launch senior-centric primary care clinics, noting that the deal was far from easy or cheap, but it’s part of Humana’s shift from being an insurance company to a healthcare company.

AHA: (2/13) – AARP’s Livability Index offers key insights into a neighborhood conditions and can help shape solutions that will make a community more livable and age-friendly, and is a helpful tool for local health and wellness partners such as AHA’s Hospital Community Cooperative teams.

Healthcare Dive: (2/12) – AFH member Signify Health was featured in this article about payers' roles in addressing social needs, noting that payers should partner with social service organizations to address the needs of a community and its social determinants of health.

Humana News: (2/12) – During the annual Datapalooza Conference, AFH member Humana offered an overview of their commitment to and work on social determinants during several panels.

Healthcare Innovation: (2/11) – Dr. Jacob Reider, CEO of AFH member Alliance for Better Health, was featured in this article offering his insights on why only a small number of providers self-report screening patients for social determinants of health, and offering potential solutions to fix it.

Health Data Management: (2/7) – North Carolina Medicaid has found a way to save as much as $6,000 per patient with the help of a unique care management provided by the Community Care of North Carolina and partnering with payers, like AFH member Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Medicaid, Medicare and the state employee health plan.

Social Determinants Accelerator Act

Representative Bustos: (2/17) – Representative Bustos, one of the sponsors of the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (H.R. 4004) convened a roundtable on black maternal health in order to explore local and state approaches to improving maternal health and addressing social determinants in the African American community.

New Research and Reports

RACMonitor: (2/19) – A study conducted by researchers from the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health at Texas Tech University identified the most significant explanatory variables between mortality rate between urban and rural residents.

Patient Engagement HIT: (2/14) – Two new reports from the New Jersey Hospital Association outline the financial impact that hospitals have on communities, and how they often serve as anchor institutions and maintain commitments to community programs and social determinants of health.

AJMC: (2/10) – A study found that complex care management can boost key performance indicators, like hospital utilization, and cut down on healthcare spending.

Patient Engagement HIT: (2/10) – A new policy paper from the American Heart Association calls for access to affordable healthcare to address health equity and social determinants of health.

Patient Engagement HIT: (2/7) – A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that older adults who belong to a racial minority are more likely to visit the emergency department for asthma symptoms than their white peers, a trend that analysts say indicates a lack of health equity and significant undertreatment.

Siren: (February) – A study on screening for social needs in free and charitable clinics found that 61% reported always screening for at least one social need, and that the majority that were screening provided information about community resources. The biggest barrier to screening was a lack of personnel.

Health Affairs: (February) – New data shows that affordable housing improvements are associated with relative improvements in overall disease burden and quality of life.

Siren: (February) –A new systematic review finds that despite widespread health sector interest in transportation interventions, the peer-reviewed literature is sparse and results are mixed.

Siren: (February) – A new case report examined the experience of Los Angeles County’s health system that has invested in housing through their Housing for Health program and describes these program and implementation strategies plus challenges and lesson learned.

SDoH Data Collection and Innovation

Health IT Analytics: (2/17) – The health care industry continues to have issues surrounding data collection, comprehensiveness, and actionability which hinder the healthcare industry’s ability to address the social determinants of health and this article examines the top 3 data challenges.

Advisory Board: (2/13) – A recent CMS report suggests that providers have been slow to adopt new social determinants of health-related claim codes.

Mathematica: (2/11) – Mathematica was named the Grand Prizewinner in the Visualization Resources of Community-Level Social Determinants of Health Challenge sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, designing an app called the Community Connector to visualize the association between social determinants of health and the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease is Colorado.

Fierce Healthcare: (2/10) – According to a survey by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans and Altruista Health, safety net health plans mainly rely on claims and diagnostic codes as well as public records and member engagement to glean data on social determinants of health.

SHVS: (2/10) – State Health and Value Strategies released an issue brief on leveraging American Community Survey (ACS) Data to address social determinants of health and advance health equity and examples from states currently using these measures.

SDoH in the News

Revcycle Intelligence: (2/19) – Providers, hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans treating the most vulnerable populations may be at risk for inequitable Medicare payments as Medicare’s reimbursement do not currently account for social factors, frailty, dementia or depression.

Health Leaders: (2/19) – Despite a recent NEJM study, the Camden Coalition is continuing its commitment to serve a complex patient population; one study is not an indictment against all care management and care coordination programs.

NASHP: (2/18) – NASHP evaluates how state leaders are using a wide range of strategies to advance healthy food policies in 2020 and adds in their own recommendations on how states can improve health through healthy food access.

NASHP: (2/18) – In their 2020 state of the state speeches, governors identified new health policy initiatives to tackle health care costs, coverage and quality – including by addressing social determinants.

Modern Healthcare: (2/15) – OSF Healthcare has found a way to screen their patients for social determinants of health by using iPads during check-in and asking patients to fill out a short 14-question survey while waiting for their primary care doctor.

AAFP: (2/14) – From their Leader Voices Blog, this AAFP article argues that advocacy and social determinants must be part of physician training as human health is inextricably linked to social determinants needs.

Health Payer Intelligence: (2/13) -- This article offers four social needs barriers that payers can address to improve their members’ access to care.

Forbes: (2/11) – CVS Health has announced it will invest $75 million in affordable housing in several communities on top of $67 million invested in 2019 in affordable housing.

Health Data Management: (2/11) – As population health models and value-based payment systems gain traction, healthcare organizations must be able to track, manage and measure the services patients receive outside of their offices for quality reporting and effective care management.

Health Payer Intelligence: (2/10) – According to the Change Healthcare 2020 Industry Pulse Report, data sharing, social determinants of health, and simpler language are common priorities as payers seek to strengthen and expand their consumerism strategies.

HIT Consultant: (2/7) – OneCity Health, the NYC Health + Hospitals Performing Provider System under New York State’s DSRIP program has announced the launch of two new programs worth $4.3 million total to address food and housing insecurities among patients in New York city’s public health system.

NJBiz: (2/7) – Inspira Health system has teamed up with schools and food banks to provide monthly pantries, featuring health foods and nutrition counseling for residents as their children’s schools.

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