The Northwest AHEC Practice Support Team supports social, physical, and economic environments which promote attaining the full potential of health and well-being for all. This blog segment will highlight impactful publications which promote improved health outcomes through Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) each month.
The report the Practice Support team featured this month discusses efforts health care providers are using to address social needs of patients and how that affected the health care costs.
Eager to control costs and sickness, hospitals and insurers are trying to help patients access better food, housing and transportation.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” – an old adage that healthcare researchers are now finding to be very relevant in their work regarding improving patients’ social needs, thereby improving their overall health.
As the healthcare sector focuses resources on diagnosing and treating patients' non-medical needs, it is imperative for healthcare systems to quantify and correlate positive medical outcomes. Does addressing the social needs of patients, primarily low income, reduce their overall medical costs? And if so, how much, and over what period of time will we be able to see exactly how much? These, among others, are all questions discussed throughout this article. Unsurprisingly, the results are very limited and much more time and research will need to be completed before any significant data can be reported.