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Social Determinants Updates

January 24 through February 7, 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 Act, our member organizations, other notable research, data and news articles related to social determinants, and upcoming events and opportunities. 

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Member News

Health Leaders Media: (2/5) – Alliance for Better Health is pioneering a novel approach to help healthcare providers address social determinants of health by acting as a convener – playing the role of intermediary between healthcare providers, payers and CBOs.

Healthcare Dive: (2/3) – Humana is expanding their primary care centers that serve seniors, focusing on value-based care, wellness initiatives and social determinants of health.

Biospace: (1/31) – Centene announced the launch of a new community partnership in Louisiana as part of its Social Health Bridge initiative, which will help community-based organizations and health entities work more effectively to address social determinants of health.

Health Payer Intelligence: (1/31) Humana Foundation announced its investment of $7.6 million into eight communities across the southeastern U.S. to address social determinants of health and enhance quality of care for local residents.

Health Payer Intelligence: (1/29) – UPMC’s Social Impact Initiative consolidates social determinants of health programs to better coordinate services and improve member’s health outcomes.

New Research and Reports

Health Affairs: (February) – A new study in Health Affairs quantified health systems’ investment in social determinants of health, by sector, from 2017-2019, finding that the health system spent at least $2.5 billion of health system funds on social determinants initiatives.

HealthData Management: (2/2) – A new report form the U.S. Chamber of Commerce contends that the real promise of EHRs can be found in combining medical records with genetic information and non-clinical data like social determinants of health data.

RAC Monitor: (1/29) – A new white paper by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Well Being Trust provides hospital emergency departments and their community partners with strategic guidance to render more compassionate, seamless, and effective systems of care for patients with mental health conditions.

Health Affairs: (February) – A new study in Health Affairs found that every dollar invested in a Community Health Work Program addressed unmet social needs and would return $2.47 on average Medicaid payer within the fiscal year.

Health Affairs: (February) – A new study from Dartmouth published in Health Affairs shows that despite effort and attention of providers in ACOs to better address patients’ social needs, little progress is being made to integrate social services with medical care.

Health Affairs: (February) – Researchers evaluated a recent renovation of public housing of six housing developments from the New York City Housing Authority to a public-private partnership and found that while the transfer to private managers did not significantly improve individual health outcomes, there were significant improvements in overall disease burden when measured using an index of housing-sensitive conditions.

Health Affairs: (February) – This longitudinal analysis analyzed spending and use data among individuals who were continuously enrolled in the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program from 2013-2015 with data on spending and use among individuals continuously enrolled in Massachusetts Medicaid with no evidence of experiencing homelessness, finding that the former averaged 2.5 times more in healthcare spending than the latter.

Institute for Medicaid Innovation: (January) – The Institute for Medicaid Innovation conducted an analysis of the Medicaid enrollment application form for each state to assess the extent of which social needs data were collected, finding wide variation in each state, finding that states varies in the type and number of specific social needs data collected.

SDoH Data Collection and Innovation

Healthcare Dive: (1/30) – According to a new report from CMS, diagnostic codes for social determinants of health were available in Medicare fee-for-service claims, but were only used for 1.4% of the total beneficiary population.

SDoH in the News

Becker’s Hospital Review: (2/3) – While hospitals and health systems continue to pour dollars into initiatives, the American Medical Association suggests they need to go one step further to truly make an impact and improve social determinants of health.

NASHP: (2/3) – Over the last two years, governors across the country have increasingly recognized the need to prioritize safe and supportive schools as a critical social determinant of health.

Becker’s Hospital Review: (1/31) – A program involving pediatricians and community-based organizations in New York City helped more than 1,500 families connect to services to help address social determinants of health.

WENY News: (1/31) – A new program in Pennsylvania, called the Medicaid Work Supports Initiative supported by a partnership between the Department of Human Services, Department of Labor and Industry and Industry, and seven Medicaid Managed Care organizations, is looking to connect Medicaid enrollees with job openings and training programs.

Patient Engagement HIT: (1/30) – A new partnership between CommonSpirit Health, NEMT broker LogistiCare Circulation, and rideshare provider Lyft aims to drive patient care access and address the social determinants of health.

WCNC: (1/29) – 15% of people in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina are food insecure, so the local health department and hospitals are teaming up with non-profit Loaves and Fishes to roll out mobile food pharmacies to tackle food desert.

AMA: (1/28) – The American Medical Association Foundation launched a new plan to address LGBTQ health disparities by creating a cadre of LGBTQ health specialists through their LGBTQ Fellowship Program.

Managed Care Magazine: (1/27) – With the increase in spending on social determinants of health initiatives, there has also been an increase of specialized vendors selling software platforms that connect patients and providers with social service providers and other resources.

Post Bulletin: (1/26) – Despite new doubts, the case for ‘hotspotting’ for heavy health care users continues.

Modern Healthcare: (1/24) – Expanding Medicaid eligibility could address maternal mortality driven by social determinants.

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