Managing “Social Determinants of Health” a Key Issue for Health Systems

March 14, 2019 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health (SDOH) as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that are primarily responsible for differences in health status. Rivkin Radler’s Robert Iseman recently penned a Thought Leaders’ Corner column for Population Health News in which he made suggestions regarding how healthcare organizations can manage the SDOH within their patient populations.

In the column, Bob pointed out that since the WHO published a report on SDOH in 2008, “the identification and management of SDOH have become prominent in many healthcare reform initiatives, including the redesign of the Medicaid system.” He cautioned health systems to “maintain their focus on the aspects of SDOH that directly affect their ability to manage the risks associated with [value-based purchasing]. Without this focus and discipline, systems will find themselves transformed from healthcare providers to broad-based social services agencies responsible for coordinating community resources and assisting patients with transportation, food, housing, social and family relationships, and other SDOH.”

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