AFH Comments on CMS Request for Information regarding Accelerating the Adoption of Standards Related to Social Risk Data
Aligning for Health was pleased to provide comment on the Request for Information regarding Accelerating the Adoption of Standards Related to Social Risk Data within the recently proposed rule to reduce provider and patient burden by improving prior authorization processes and promoting patients’ electronic access to health information.
Documenting social risk and social needs data in health records and promoting greater exchange of such data will ensure payers and providers delivering care to an individual have a more comprehensive view of the factors affecting the individuals’ health. Moreover, social risk and social needs data can be leveraged to provide insights on best practices and drivers of health disparities, and for risk adjusting payment or quality measurement. This documentation is the foundational first step toward care models that drive better alignment between health and social needs to improve patient outcomes. We believe that the outcome-focused care delivery systems of the future must rest on a data foundation that provides health organizations with meaningful information about both health and social risks.
Therefore, we agree that it is important to encourage and incentivize greater identification, documentation, and exchange of social risk and social needs data by removing barriers and by providing education and incentives for providers and payers.
Read the full comment letter here.
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
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Aligning for Health co-hosted a virtual congressional briefing on December 15, 2020. The virtual briefing featured current Congressional staffers who highlighted opportunities in the 117th Congress to support effective and innovative approaches to Social Determinants of Health (SDOHs).
SDOHs are the social and economic conditions – such as those in transportation, housing, employment, food security, and education – that influence individual and community health. SDOHs are receiving increased attention from insurance companies, hospitals, healthcare systems, and governmental agencies interested in health outcomes and controlling costs. Now more than ever, centering cross-sector, public health strategies and funding can build strong foundations for effective, long-term solutions to improve health and potentially drive down health care costs. Some recent legislation that addresses some of these issues include the Social Determinants Accelerator Act of 2019 (H.R. 4004/ S. 2986) and the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020 (H.R. 6561/S. 4440)
- Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020 Fact Sheet
- Improving Social Determinants of Health Act Bill Text: H.R. 6561, S. 4440
- Social Determinants Accelerator Act Summaries: H.R 4004, S. 2986
- Social Determinants Accelerator Act Bill Text: H.R. 4004, S. 2986
- Daphne Delgado, Senior Government Relations Manager, Trust for America’s Health
- Melissa Quick, Co-Chair, Aligning for Health
- Kristin Flukey, Legislative Assistant, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05)
- Shane Hand, Legislative Assistant, Rep. Tom Cole, (R-OK-04)
- Joshua Izaak, Legislative Director, Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44)
- Kripa Sreepada, Health Policy Advisor, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)
- Liam Steadman, Senior Policy Advisor, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17)
For more information on the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act, contact Daphne Delgado, email@example.com. For more information on the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, contact Melissa Quick MQuick@AligningForHealth.org.