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Social determinants of health

Note from the editor

It's long been known that the majority of factors that influence a person's health are determined far outside a provider's four walls. Increasingly, hospitals and payers have seen it as part of their duty to help patients in these areas as well, in an effort to improve overall health outcomes and save systemic costs.

Some organizations are investing in housing or food aid. They also work with community groups to determine needs in the surrounding area and partner on programs to help those in need. Research on the effects of these ambitious programs is mixed, for both health outcome improvement and return on investment.

The Medicare Advantage program in particular has ramped up intervention. With regulatory flexibility from CMS over the past few years, plans have begun offering programs that provide help in affording air conditioners, pest control services, transportation and food security.

The focus on social determinants of health has only increased as the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the United States. Data show the disease has far higher mortality rates for people of color as their underlying health trends have suffered from systemic inequalities, including in the healthcare system.

Shannon Muchmore Editor

As SDOH efforts take off, payers try to carve out their role

Hospitals spent $2.5B on social determinant programs from 2017 to 2019

Payers, providers on different pages on SDOH, consumerism, value-based care

Humana program to reimburse providers for identifying social determinants like homelessness, food insecurity

Disruption or integration? Fitbit's health leader discusses the role of wearables in healthcare

Healthcare Dive sat down with Amy McDonough to chat the B2B wearable business and Fitbit's aspirations in chronic care management.

Despite pop health buzz, few providers screen for social needs

Kaiser Permanente rolls out food insecurity initiative in California

Providers take next step in social determinants: hyperlocalism

Payers roll out 2020 MA plans with increased focus on social determinants

What You Need to Know About Social Determinants of Health

The focus on social determinants of health has only increased as the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the United States. As a result, hospitals, payers, employers and partner organizations have begun to invest in programs that support community health and reduce systemic costs.

included in this trendline
  • Despite pop health buzz, few providers screen for social needs
  • Kaiser Permanente rolls out food insecurity initiative in California
  • How healthcare spend on social determinant programs has evolved since 2017
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.