Yesterday, Congress approved a legislative package incorporating Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations, COVID-19 relief provisions, health care extenders, and other health care provisions. The accompanying Joint Explanatory Statement for the Departments of Labor-HHS-Education includes $3M in funding to establish a Social Determinants of Health Pilot Program to create Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans, as described in the House-passed Report Language copied below.
Social Determinants of Health Pilot Program.
- The Committee recognizes the role of public health in working across sectors on social determinants of health. The Committee includes $3,000,000 for CDC to establish a Social Determinants of Health pilot program to award competitive grants to State, local, Territorial, or Tribal jurisdictions to support the development of Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans.
- Such plans should include a description of the health and social outcome objectives of the Social Determinants Accelerator Plan; identify target populations that would benefit from implementation of the plan; and identify non-governmental public health organizations and community organizations that would participate in the development of the plan.
- Grantees may use a portion of grant funding to convene government entities and stakeholders and to engage qualified research experts in developing Social Determinants Accelerator Plans. The Committee directs CDC to submit a report within 120 days of enactment of this Act on how such grants will be administered.
“We must deliver innovative solutions to overcome social factors that are harmful to our health such as food deserts, long drive times, loss of services and beyond,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “The $3 million pilot program based on my Social Determinants Accelerator Act will help local governments do just that by empowering them to create plans to tackle these issues head on in our communities. The current public health crisis has only underscored the need for this critical program and I’m proud to see it pass today so we may build back stronger and healthier.”
Learn more about the Social Determinants Accelerator Act at http://aligningforhealth.org/socialdeterminants-accelerator-act/
For more information about Aligning for Health or the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Aligning for Health submitted comments to Senator Lamar Alexander’s call for ideas on how to make the health care system more resilient. Our response is featured below:
The current COVID-19 public health crisis has affected every community, but has a significant impact on vulnerable populations. It has affected our health and mental health, and has hindered access to necessary supports and resources.
Aligning for Health has put together a set of resource documents that include links to COVID-19 data and GIS tools, resource directories, and guidance from the federal and state governments. We will continue to update these resources and hope they will be helpful.
The National Association to End Homelessness has endorsed the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (H.R. 4004, S. 2986) as a bill that would promote better health care and address social determinants of health. Read more about their endorsement here.