Aligning for Health: Aligning for Health Submits Comments to CMS RFI on Medicare Advantage (8/31) – Aligning for Health submitted comments
in response to a CMS request for information on the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Comments focus on the specific questions posed in the RFI as it pertains to opportunities to address social determinants of health to advance health equity within the Medicare Advantage program.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Connect Crittenden helps people in county find health care, food (8/29) - The Arkansas Department of Health and Crittenden County leaders have created an online resource directory that connects people to food pantries, medical care and other free or reduced-cost help. A $120,000 grant from the CDC helped fund the launch of Connect Crittenden in June, which is powered by the findhelp platform.
California Health Care Foundation: The Role of Community-Based Organization Networks in CalAIM: Seven Key Considerations (8/23) - The California Health Care Foundation released an issue brief focused on explaining the roles, opportunities, and challenges that community-based organization (CBO) networks present in the context of CalAIM. It outlines seven considerations for the potential use of CBO networks, including the potential benefits and hurdles from the perspective of CBOs and Medi-Cal managed care plans. The brief features a case study on a partnership with San Joaquin County, 2-1-1, Dignity Health, and the United Way, which provides CBOs access to the community resource and referral platform Unite Us.
CareSource: CareSource and Elevate Ventures Invest in Water Quality (8/23) – CareSource announced a $1 million investment in 120Water, a digital water solution that helps utilities and state and local agencies manage critical water programs that protect public health. CareSource’s investment was made through the CareSource Diversity & Social Impact Fund.
PR Newswire: Trillium Community Health Plan Partners with Unite Us to Address SDOH for Oregon Health Plan Members (8/19) – Trillium Community Health Plan announced a partnership with Unite Us to further enhance the health plan’s ability to collaborate with providers and local community-based organizations to provide integrated health care services for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members. Trillium’s care managers and member services staff will use the Connect Oregon network to efficiently coordinate care for OHP members.
American Hospital Association: Podcast – Addressing health and social needs for the most complex patients (8/18) – In this episode of the American Hospital Association Advancing Health podcast, Stacy Bank, M.D., medical director of University of Utah Health’s Intensive Outpatient Clinic, and Chad Westover, CEO of University of Utah Health Plans, discuss how they’re providing wraparound medical and social care to some of the health system’s most at-risk patients.
Senator Booker: Booker Releases Top Policy Priorities for White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (9/1) - Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter
to Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, outlining his top policy objectives for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Of note, Sen. Booker urged for better integration of Food as Medicine –programs that integrate the power of food to prevent and treat diet-related disease– into federal health care.
House Committee on Oversight and Reform: At Detroit Field Hearing, Members and Witnesses Call for Reforms to Protect Frontline Communities from Pollution (8/25) - Reps. Khanna (D-CA) and Tlaib (D-MI) held a field hearing in Detroit, Michigan to examine the gaps in current laws and regulations that leave communities vulnerable to pollution, and the policy changes necessary to safeguard public health and the environment.
To view a full list of the legislation we are tracking around social determinants of health, health equity/disparities, and maternal health, click here.
White House: OMB Launches New Public Listening Sessions on Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards Revision (8/30) – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced in June that it would begin formal review to revise OMB’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 15: Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. OMB shared two ways for the public to share their perspectives and input with the Interagency Technical Working Group around this initiative, through the solicitation of public comments and bi-monthly listening sessions.
White House: Monkeypox Response Team Announces New Plans to Support Large LGBTQI+ Events and Equity Interventions to Reach Communities at Highest Risk of Contracting the Virus (8/30) - The White House National Monkeypox Response team announced new actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to combat the monkeypox outbreak and protect individuals most at risk of contracting the virus. The Administration is providing additional vaccines and support to states and cities holding events that convene large groups of LGBTQI+ individuals.
White House: White House Announces the Date of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health (8/29) – The Biden-Harris Administration announced it will host the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health on September 28, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The Administration will announce a national strategy at the Conference that identifies actions the government will take to catalyze the public and private sectors to drive transformative change and address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition and health. The White House also released a toolkit
for partner-led satellite events to be held in parallel with the Conference.
HHS: HHS Announces Over $20M in Awards to Implement Biden-Harris Administration Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis (8/29) – HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced investments of over $20 million to improve maternal and infant health and implement the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. Funding aims to help reduce disparities in maternal and birth outcomes, expand and diversify the workforce caring for pregnant and postpartum individuals, increase access to obstetrics care in rural communities, and support states in tackling inequities in maternal and infant health.
HUD: Secretary Fudge Announces $15M to Help Older Americans Age in Place (8/29) – Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that HUD is making $15 million available to help older Americans age in place through home modifications. The funding opportunity, made available through HUD’s Older Adult Home Modification Program, will assist experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities in undertaking comprehensive programs that make safety and functional home modifications repairs and renovations to meet the needs of low-income elderly homeowners.
HHS: HHS Secretary Becerra Appoints New National Fitness Foundation’s Board of Directors (8/29) – HHS Secretary Becerra appointed new members to the Board of Directors of the National Fitness Foundation, which was established to collaborate with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition and to identify strategic priorities to further the purposes and functions of the Council by facilitating investments and partnerships that engage, educate, and empower all Americans to lead healthy, active lives.
Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: Informing The White House Conference: Ambitious, Actionable Recommendations to End Hunger, Advance Nutrition, and Improve Health (8/23) - The Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health released its report
to inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health being held in September 2022. The report provides a series of 30 high-priority policy recommendations, along with more than 200 specific actions for federal agencies, Congress, and other stakeholders to end hunger, advance nutrition, and reduce diet-related conditions in the U.S.
SDoH & Health Equity in the News
Health Affairs: To Promote Equity, Include These Key Provisions in Upcoming Nutrition Legislation (8/31) – Federal nutrition programs will be a key piece of the White House’s strategy for its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, but congressional action will be necessary to make structural changes to these programs. Three policy vehicles – Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), the Farm Bill, and the annual appropriations process – provide legislators with a significant opportunity to improve federal nutrition programs.
Fierce Healthcare: AWS selects 10 startups for its 2022 Healthcare Accelerator, focused on health equity (8/31) – Amazon Web Services tapped 10 startups as finalists to participate in its 2022 Healthcare Accelerator focused on health equity. The cohort of startups pitched solutions aimed at improving access to care and addressing social determinants of health, ranging from medical transport to helping unhoused patients reach housing and health goals.
Better Care Playbook: Screening for Social Needs in Health Care Settings – Insights from a National Review (8/30) – SIREN recently published a report
synthesizing peer-reviewed literature and knowledge gaps on social screening practices in health care. In this interview, The Better Care Playbook spoke with Emilia De Marchis, MD, MAS, lead author of the SIREN report and assistant professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, UCSF, to learn about the state of social needs screening and implications for people with complex needs and the providers that care for them.
Patient Engagement HIT: Kaiser Permanente Provides Funding to Food Insecurity Initiative (8/29) – Kaiser Permanente recently granted $50,000 to Aloha Harvest to expand its Meals with Aloha program and address food insecurity in Hawaii. By coordinating with local food producers, farmers, distributors and donors, Aloha Harvest has been able to rescue food to nourish and deliver it to households throughout Leeward Oahu. The grant will support the organization’s work in linking residents experiencing food insecurity to support programs and resources.
WYKC: CVS Health invests $10.5M in Cleveland housing for young adults experiencing homelessness (8/25) – CVS Health announced a $10.5 million investment in housing for young adults who are experiencing homelessness in Cleveland. The investment will build Cuyahoga Transitioning Aged Youth, a 50-unit residence for adults between the ages of 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, which will offer on-site health and social services to help young adults rebuild their lives.
Health Payer Intelligence: 3 Major Payers Take Action on Social Determinants of Health (8/19) – Three major payers – Elevance Health, Aetna, and Cigna – have taken steps to address social determinants of health, demonstrating a broad range of strategies payers have employed and partnerships payers have engaged in order to reduce SDOH barriers. Collectively, the payers have used their position to launch initiatives that aim to address SDOH factors such as housing and food insecurity, poverty, care disparities, and environmental safety.
Spotlight on Maternal Health
Penn Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics: Penn Medicine Maternal Mortality Prevention Innovation Selected for Federal Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Program (8/23) – Physicians at the UPenn Perelman School of Medicine received an HHS Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge Award for their Heart Safe Motherhood program, an innovative postpartum preeclampsia prevention intervention. The program is an algorithmically driven system that maintains twice daily two-way text message communications with post-delivery patients after they’ve gone home, and provides mothers with a blood pressure cuff that flags clinicians when potentially dangerous increases in blood pressure are detected.
Data and Innovation
Health Leaders: California AG Asks Hospital CEOs for More Information on their SDOH Technology (9/1) – California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a letter
to the CEOs of 30 California hospitals asking for details on how they use data mining software to address racial and ethnic disparities in care delivery, saying those algorithms may be contributing to the problem rather than solving it. The letter stresses the importance of ensuring equal access to quality health care, especially as health care organizations work to address SDOH and identify barriers in access.
Becker’s Hospital CFO Report: 10 states with highest coding rates for SDOH diagnoses (8/25) – Data analytics company Hospital Pricing Specialists reviewed 8.4 million inpatient claims from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, at 5,757 hospitals, to determine the incidence rate among social determinants of health diagnosis codes. The most used codes were those for homelessness; disappearance and death of family members; problems related to living alone; problems related to living in a residential institution; and problems in relationship with a spouse or partner.
New Research and Reports
Medical Care: Association of Patient and System-Level Factors with Social Determinants of Health Screening (9/1) – Health systems are increasingly recognizing the importance of collecting SDOH data, however gaps remain in our understanding of facilitators or barriers to collection. To address these gaps, this study evaluated a real-world implementation of a SDOH screening tool. Patient and system-level factors were associated with completion and modality.
NORC at the University of Chicago: Many Middle-Income Seniors Will Not Be Able to Pay for Long-Term Care and Housing in 10 Years (8/31) – In an update of their “Forgotten Middle” study, researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago found that by 2023, more than 11 million middle-income seniors aged 75 and older may not be able to pay for assisted living or qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care needs. The study also found that seniors are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, with people of color making up 22 percent of this middle-income population in 2033.
Alignment Healthcare: Social Threats to Aging Well in America (8/29) – According to the 2022 Social Threats to Aging Well in America survey, economic instability, loneliness, and food insecurity are the top three social barriers impacting seniors’ access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care. The study focused social determinants of health factors and their impact on seniors’ access to health care. Notably, 33 percent of seniors ranked grocery assistance as their most important support priority, among other findings.
Patient Engagement HIT: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences, Pediatric SDOH (8/29) – According to data from the HRSA National Survey of Children’s Health, 34.8 million children across the US are impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The CDC has outlined the economic and social cost of ACEs, estimated to be billions of dollars annually. This article outlines why ACEs should be considered in discussions around addressing SDOH.
Medical Care: Associations Between Different Self-Reported Social Risks and Neighborhood-level Resources in Medicaid Patients (August 2022) – Adverse social conditions are a key contributor to health disparities. Improved understanding of how social risk factors interact with each other and with neighborhood characteristics may inform efforts to reduce health disparities. This study found that among five commonly associated social risk factors, Medicaid patients in a large Northern California health system typically reported only a single factor and that these factors did not correlate strongly with each other.
In cooperation with Aligning for Health, RISE is bringing together policymakers, policy experts, and practitioners from across the health and social services sectors to explore the current and future state of social determinants of health policy. Learn from, engage with, and network with government leaders on federal efforts to increase coordination and impact of programs and services that address health and social needs. In the heart of Capitol Hill, join the only forum gathering state and local governments, leading payers, providers, community-based organizations, and health networks providing insights into innovative programs, models, and best practices to advance whole-person health. Walk away with a better understanding of policies and programs that advance and support data sharing, collaboration, financing, accountability, and equity.