There is growing recognition that social determinants of health data are a central piece of the puzzle for the U.S. healthcare system. But while many healthcare industry executives are aware of the impact of social determinants of health on populations, there is no clear direction about how to operationalize its use. Because of this, the eHealth Initiative Foundation and the LexisNexis® Risk Solutions healthcare business hosted the second in a series of roundtable meetings focused on data governance, convening senior executives from across the healthcare spectrum.
This discussion produced examples across a variety of health plans of how social determinants of health (SDOH) data is being used to improve health outcomes. The examples articulated by healthcare executives illustrated how it is used to identify the most vulnerable populations and give providers and health plans meaningful insights into the health of their patients.
Insurance providers are uniquely suited to help populations of all sizes lead healthier lives. In addition to traditional health care services, health plans have been addressing SDOH by coordinating housing, employment, education, food services, and supporting other needs such as childcare. Insurers are realizing that by working to mitigate the negative impacts of SDOH, significant benefits can be achieved that improve both access and outcomes for individuals while significantly lowering overall costs. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the largest membership organization for health providers, reported that many health plans are identifying at-risk populations, designing programs based on member needs, and mapping and cataloging existing community resources.
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