Social Determinants and Health Disparities Legislation

Social Determinants Accelerator Act

Aligning for Health has been active in advocating for key legislative solutions to address social determinants, including through the introduction of the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (H.R. 4004/S.2986).

Aligning for Health is proud to support the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in the House (H.R. 4004) by Reps. Bustos (D-IL), Cole (R-OK), McGovern (D-MA), and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and in the Senate (S. 2986) by Sens. Young (R-IN) and Stabenow (D-MI).

The Social Determinants Accelerator Act will help states and communities devise strategies to better leverage existing programs and authorities to improve the health and well-being of those participating in Medicaid by creating an inter-agency social determinants council and providing planning grants and technical assistance to state, local and Tribal governments to help them devise innovative, evidence-based approaches to coordinate services and improve outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

Senate Finance Committee Response on Health Disparities

  • On July 8th, 2020, Aligning for Health sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Grassley (R-IA) in response to a request for input on steps the Committee can take to address health disparities.
  • AFH strongly supports the Committee’s efforts to assess and discuss what actionable steps Congress can take to improve access to, and the coordination of, public health, health care, and social services both during and after the public health emergency subsides.
  • AFH noted that the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (S. 2986/H.R. 4004) is a bipartisan, bicameral proposal that has been referred for consideration by the Senate Finance Committee and if passed, would take important steps toward improving the health of families on Medicaid by helping to address their social needs.

Senate HELP Response on Preparing for the Next Pandemic

  • On June 26th 2020, Aligning for Health sent a letter to Senate HELP Committee Chair Alexander (R-TN) in response to a request for information on  recommendations for creating a system of health care resiliency and preparing for the next pandemic.
  • AFH recommended strengthening medical and social care alignment, noting that social service networks are generally not connected to the health care system in a sustainable way.  Congress should take advantage of this moment to catalyze a large-scale effort to build community-based infrastructure that will efficiently allow health and social providers to collaborate while maintaining accountability among entities for better health outcomes.
  • AFH recommended that Congress take up consideration of a proposal to help states develop community integration networks. AFH described the need to provide seed funding to states to develop and launch community integration networks built around a lead entity and which connect payers, providers, community based organizations, and state agencies.

Senate Finance Committee Response on Maternal Health

  • On March 20, 2020, Aligning for Health sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee in response to a request for information on solutions to improve maternal health.
  • In its letter, AFH noted that the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (S. 2986/H.R. 4004) would provide funding for states and localities to design and tailor approaches and strategies that meet their residents’ needs, which could be focused on efforts to improve maternal health.

Ways and Means Response on Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force

  • On November 27, 2019, Aligning for Health sent a letter to the Ways and Means Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force in response to a request for information on November 15, 2019. In response to the RFI, AFH described barriers that impede coordination between health and social service programs, and the lack of comprehensive evidence around interventions focused on the social determinants of health, which limits the replicability or scaling of successful interventions.

The Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020 Letter of Support

Aligning for Health is proud to endorse the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020 introduced by Rep. Barragan (D-CA), which would authorize the CDC to create a program to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities by coordinating CDC social determinants of health activities and improve the capacity of public health agencies and community organizations to address social determinants of health.

 

CARING Act Letter of Support

Aligning for Health thanks Representatives Blunt Rochester (D-NY) and Bilirakis (R-FL) for introducing the Collecting and Analyzing Resources Integral and Necessary for Guidance (CARING) for Social Determinants Act of 2019. The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance for states to address social determinants of health under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This is an important bipartisan step in the right direction to help states address social determinants of health.

UNDERSTAND ACT Letter of Support

Aligning for Health is proud to support the introduction of S. 1323, the Utilizing National Data, Effectively Reforming Standards and Tools, to Address Negative Determinants of Health (UNDERSTAND) Act, which would improve the collection of data related to the social determinants of health for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Other Social Determinants Legislation

Here is a full list, updated regularly, of other pieces of legislation related to social determinants, health disparities, and health equity.

H.R. 1887 – National Institute of Nutrition Act

  • Introduced by Reps. Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Lieu (D-CA), this bill would establish a National Institute of Nutrition within the NIH, which would be charged with researching leveraging nutrition to reduce health care costs, and effective approaches to reduce dietary and health disparities, among other research.

H.R. 2781 – Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness for Health Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) and 15 cosponsors, this bill would provide training to the health care workforce on social determinants of health in order to better the geriatric health care needs of diverse populations with cultural and linguistic competency.

H.R. 3910 – Equality in Medicare and Medicaid Treatment Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Rep. Lewis (D-GA), this bill includes a social determinants of health payment model that tests each payment and service delivery innovations.

H.R. 4004 – Social Determinants Accelerator Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and 24 bipartisan cosponsors, this bill would establish the Social Determinants Accelerator Interagency Council and help states and communities devise strategies to better leverage existing programs and authorities to improve the health and well-being of Medicaid beneficiaries through planning grants and technical assistance.

H.R. 4534 – Native Health and Wellness Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Reps. Ruiz (D-CA) and E&C Committee Chair Pallone (D-NJ), this bill would improve the public health system in tribal communities through grants intended to improve health, prevent disease, and reduce health disparities.

H.R. 4621 – Collecting and Analyzing Resources Integral and Necessary for Guidance for Social Determinants Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Blunt-Rochester (D-DE) and 8 cosponsors, this bill requires CMS to issue guidance to address social determinants of health under Medicaid and CHIP.

H.R. 4925 – Community Multi-Share Coverage Program Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Huizenga (R-MI), this bill would award grants to support community-based coverage entities to carry out a coverage program that cover community and individual assessment tools to identify any negative influences on health and economic self-sufficiency to assist physicians in understanding the social determinants of health impacting an individual.

H.R. 5246 – Researching and Ending Disparities by Understanding and Creating Equity (REDUCE) Act of 2019*

  • Introduced by Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ) and 7 cosponsors, this bill would require CDC to implement a Health in All Policies demonstration project to support state, territory, tribe, and local government efforts to establish or enhance collaborative approaches to improve the health of individuals and communities.

H.R. 5942 – The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018

  • Introduced by Rep. Garcia (D-IL) and 87 cosponsors, the bill includes a number of provisions intended to improve minority health, including the Social Determinants Accelerator Act.

H.R. 6561Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Barragan (D-CA), this bill requires the CDC to establish a program to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities, as well as award grants to organizations to build capacity to address social determinants of health.

H.R. 6935 – Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults During COVID-19 and Beyond Act (bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Frankel (D-FL) and three cosponsors, this bill provides for the establishment of a National COVID-19 resource center for older adults to help to mitigate the impacts of social isolation, provide health care and other services, to reduce disparities, and to develop cross-sector collaborations.

H.R. 7614 – Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2021

  • Introduced by House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Chair DeLauro (D-CT), this bill would provide fiscal year 2021 appropriations for the Departments of Labor, HHS and Education, and would also provide for several grant programs and other opportunities to address social needs and social determinants.

S. 4440 – Improving Social Determinants of Health Act

  • Introduced by Sen. Smith (D-MN), this bill would authorize the CDC to begin work on improving health outcomes and reduce inequities by investing in the efforts of the federal government and of public health agencies and community organizations to address the adverse impact of social determinants.

H.R. 1656 – Strengthening our Pediatric Workforce Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Smucker (R-PA) and 2 cosponsors, this bill would provide grants to support initiatives focused on addressing pediatric public health disparities in children’s hospitals graduate medical education programs.

H.R. 4144 – Ending the Diagnostic Odyssey Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Peters (D-CA) and 18 cosponsors , this bill would provide better access to whole genome sequencing clinical services for children under the Medicaid program, and requires reports by states to CMS on the extent to which whole genomic sequencing clinical services reduce health disparities.

H.R. 4393 – Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Swalwell (D-CA) and 38 cosponsors, this bill provides for a state option under the State Medicaid plan to provide DNA sequencing clinical services for children and provide for a study by the National Academy of Medicine on the use of genetic and genomic testing to improve health care and reduce health disparities.

H.R. 4499 – NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Barragan (D-CA) and 4 cosponsors, this bill would provide the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to make certain research endowments to both current and former centers of excellence to facilitate minority health disparities research and other health disparities research.

H.R. 5230 – Elijah Cummings Family Asthma Act (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Engel (D-NY) and 26 cosponsors, this bill would direct the CDC to coordinate data collection and compilation of data for asthma research, with the goal of reducing the health disparities associated with asthma.

H.R. 5469 – Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Rep. Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and 28 cosponsors, this bill addresses mental health issues for youth and particularly youth of color, including addressing racial and ethnic minority mental health disparity research gaps.

H.R. 5939 – Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Research and Education Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Rep. Jackson (D-TX), this bill would direct the Director of the NIH to expand, intensify, and coordinate programs for the conduct and support of research with respect to triple-negative breast cancer, which commonly affects African-American women and Hispanic women.

H.R. 5986 – Environmental Justice for All Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) and 36 cosponsors, this bill would support research by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for research on health disparities impacting communities of color and their lack of equitable access to green spaces, public recreation opportunities, data and information on potential exposure to environmental hazards.

H.R. 6383 – Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Clarke (D-NY) and 26 cosponsors, this bill directs the director of the NIH to expand, intensify, and coordinate programs for the conduct and support of research with respect to uterine fibroids with appropriate institutes like the Office of Minority Health and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

H.R. 6585 – Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Kelly (D-IL) and 93 cosponsors, this bill establishes the Commission on Ensuring Health Equity during the COVID-19 Health Emergency and adds reporting requirements for certain demographic data related to COVID-19.

H.R. 6638 – Reducing COVID-19 Disparities by Investing in Public Health Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Hayes (D-CT) and 3 cosponsors, this bill appropriates additional funding to better combat disparities that have emerged during COVID-19 for the CDC, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Fund, the National Institute on Minority Health and Offices of Minority Health in HHS, AHRQ, CMS, SAMHSA, and HRSA.

H.R. 6763 – COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act of 2020*

  • Introduced by Rep. Kelly (D-IL) and 8 cosponsors, this bill would establish a COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force to gather data about disproportionately affected communities and provide recommendations to combat the racial and ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 response.

H.R. 7077 – The Community Solutions for COVID-19 Act*

  • Introduced by Rep. Kelly (D-IL), this bill would establish or expand programs to improve health equity regarding COVID-19 and reduce or eliminate inequities in the prevalence and health outcomes of COVID-19.

H.R. 7158 – Health Enterprise Zones Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Brown (D-MD) and 9 cosponsors, this bill would provide for the designation of areas as Health Enterprise Zones to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in such areas.

H.R. 7510 –Assimilating Health and Equity Assessments into Decision-Making (AHEAD) Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Cox (D-CA) and five cosponsors, this bill would provide for a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the potential benefits on population health outcomes of incorporating into the Federal legislative process tools that measure the impacts of proposed legislation (including in areas outside of health care).

S. 4410 – REACH Act

  • Introduced by Sen. Scott (R-SC), this bill would codify the CDC’s REACH program that supports locally tailored and collaborative projects aimed at combating health disparities with a particular emphasis on chronic disease prevention and response.

H.R. 1897 – Mothers and Offspring Maternal and Morbidity Awareness Act (MOMMA’s Act)*

  • Introduced by Rep. Kelly (D-IL) and 109 cosponsors, this bill would improve federal efforts for the prevention of maternal mortality by providing technical assistance to states, issuing best practices, supporting the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal, and establish regional centers of excellence.

H.R. 2902 – Maternal CARE Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Adams (D-NC) and 19 cosponsors, this bill requires HHS to award grants to health-professional training programs for training that addresses implicit bias in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology and award grants for pregnancy medical-home programs.

H.R. 4215 – Excellence in Maternal Health Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Bucshon (R-IN) and 15 bipartisan cosponsors, this bill would improve the training of health care professionals to reduce or prevent discrimination for maternal health care.

H.R. 4243 – Rural and Maternal Obstetric Modernization of Services Act (Bipartisan)*

  • Introduced by Rep. Torres Small (D-NM) and 9 cosponsors, this bill provides funding to HRSA to expand initiatives to address maternal health in rural areas.

H.R. 4768 – Home Visiting to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Davis (D-IL) and 26 cosponsors, this bill seeks to reduce maternal mortality by continuing to invest in evidence-based home visiting models that are addressing the social determinants of health of maternal health and morbidity.

H.R. 4995 – Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Engel (D-NY) and 28 cosponsors, this bill improves obstetric care and maternal health outcomes and provides for the CDC to improve rural maternal and obstetric care data.

H.R. 6132 – Social Determinants for Moms Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. McBath (D-GA) and 13 cosponsors, this bill would create a task force to coordinate efforts to address social determinants of health for women who are prenatal and postpartum.

H.R. 6137 – IMPACT to Save Moms Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) and 11 cosponsors, this bill requires CMS to establish the Perinatal Care Alternative Payment Model Demonstration Project and report on specified information relating to the continuity of coverage for pregnant and postpartum women under Medicaid and CHIP.

H.R. 6138 – Tech to Save Moms Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Bernice (D-TX) and 10 cosponsors, this bill would provide investments in technology to improve maternal health outcomes, especially for underserved populations.

H.R. 6142 – Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Underwood (D-IL) and 39 cosponsors, this bill directs HHS and other agencies to address maternal health outcomes among minority populations.

H.R. 6143 – Moms MATTER Act of 2020 (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Kennedy (D-MA) and 7 cosponsors, this bill would establish the Maternal Mental and Behavioral Health Task Force and directs HHS to award grants to eligible health care entities to support innovating models of maternity care designed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.

H.R. 6165 – Data to Save Moms Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Davids (D-KS) and 12 cosponsors, this bill improves data collection with respect to maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.

H.R. 6178 – EQUIP Act of 2020

  • Introduced by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) and 4 cosponsors, this bill requires the CDC to provide eligible health organizations with demonstration program grants to implement routing screenings about women’s pregnancy intentions in order to provide better contraceptive and pre-pregnancy care.

H.R. 6192 – Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act

  • Introduced by Rep. Pressley (D-MA) and 10 cosponsors, this bill would provide improved care and protection to incarcerated mothers, including programs to address social determinants of health.

H.R. 1384 – Medicare for All Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and 118 cosponsors, this bill would require the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality of CMS to address health disparities by evaluating data collection approaches that allow for ongoing, accurate, and timely collection of data on disparities in health care services and performance on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, or socioeconomic status.

H.R. 1419 – Public Option Deficit Reduction Act

  • Introduced by Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) and 4 cosponsors, this bill establishes a public health insurance option and requires the Secretary of HHS to create innovative payment mechanisms that seek to reduce health disparities.

H.R. 2000 – Medicare-X Choice Act of 2019*

  • Introduced by Rep. Delgado (D-NY) and 26 cosponsors, this bill establishes a public health insurance option and requires the Secretary of HHS to create innovative payment mechanisms that seek to reduce health disparities.

H.R. 2452 – Medicare for America Act of 2019

  • Introduced by Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) and 25 cosponsors, this bill would establish a Medicare for America health program to provide for comprehensive health coverage for all Americans and require the CDC and NIH to solicit a comprehensive, longitudinal study to evaluate any differential individual impact on coverage expansion based on race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or health status.

H.R. 5741– Strengthening Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Act (Bipartisan)

  • Introduced by Rep. Sewell (D-AL), this bill would clarify parameters for model testing and add accountability to model expansion under CMMI, including requiring CMMI to assess and track the impact of delivery and payment models on health disparities.

 

 

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SDOH Bills
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Health Disparities Bills
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Maternal Health Bills
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Coverage, Payment Reform Bills