Welcome to the inaugural edition of Aligning for Health’s Social Determinants Updates newsletter. We hope it will be a helpful and informative biweekly compilation of news, reports, events, and opportunities.

News Clips and Reports

Modern Healthcare: (9/19) – The Urban Institute conducted interviews with MA insurers, health insurance experts and social services providers findings that plans were slow to expand benefits to address social determinants despite recent CMS changes to increase benefit flexibilities.

Institute for Medicaid Innovation: (9/19) – The Institute for Medicaid Innovation released its 2019 Annual Medicaid MCO Survey, which found that 78 percent of all Medicaid MCO respondents indicated that they offer targeted social determinant of health programs.

Signify Health: (9/19) Equity Health and Signify Health launched a new integrated platform that will facilitate collaboration among healthcare providers and community-based organizations (CBOs) to create ‘whole person health’ teams for underserved and at-risk populations.

AAFP: (9/18) – In a recent pilot project, 58 percent of clinicians felt they did not have enough time to screen for social determinants, but only 21 percent felt that way by the end of the project.

Health IT Analytics: (9/18) – Semifinalists in AHRQ’s social determinants of health challenge are leveraging data to produce a visualization tool for stakeholders to use in addressing social determinants of health in their communities.

Modern Healthcare: (9/18) – According to a new study, a minority of physician practices and hospitals screen patients for all five key social needs associated with health outcomes.

PatientEngagementHIT: (9/18) – 39 percent of community health centers (CHCs) facing a funding delay said they might be forced to cut services that address social determinants of health.

Urban Institute: (9/16) – A report on the first 30 years of Mary’s Center, a nationally recognized federally qualified health center (FQHC), describes their integrated approach to addressing the social determinants of health.

HealthLeaders: (9/17) – A new study shows that older adults with low incomes are healthier if they live in affluent communities, suggesting social and other community-related factors are likely responsible for their health outcomes.

AJMC: (9/13) – A literature review found only a small number of low-quality studies evaluating interventions to address food insecurity, indicating a need for more rigorous research into the effectiveness of interventions addressing various social determinants of health.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO): (9/12) – A report released by GAO found that states are turning to managed care to managed high-cost Medicaid beneficiaries, but face barriers to implementing care management such as addressing social determinants of health.

American Heart Association (AHA): (9/12) – AHA announced the first set of its Social Impact Fund recipients in Chicago, a program aimed at improving health outcomes by addressing social and economic barriers.

Healthcare Finance: (9/11) – A major insurer and health system in New Jersey are partnering with the state’s Medicaid agency to combat racial disparities among maternal-child health. The value-based Medicaid model will address the social determinants of health.

FierceHealthcare: (9/10) – North Carolina is partnering with healthcare software company Phreesia to provide a social determinants of health screening platform.

The Business Journals: (9/10) – Erie Country created the Live Well Erie Task Force, a data-driven collaborative to focus on addressing social determinants of health.

Healthcare Finance: (9/9) – Blue Shield of California and L.A. Care announced the investment of $146 million towards community health initiatives and housing.

Stanford Magazine: (9/9) – The new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine highlights initiatives that add value to health, such as personalized medicine and a better understanding of social determinants of health.

Kaiser Family Foundation: (9/6) – Social determinants is one of the top ten trends in Medicaid managed care, with states increasingly looking to MCOs to develop strategies to identify and address social determinants of health.

The Hill: (9/4) – The Social Determinants Accelerator Act (H.R. 4004) was introduced on July 25 by Reps. Bustos (D-IL), Cole (R-OK), McGovern (D-MA), and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), with support from health-care industry groups like Aligning for Health.


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