To achieve optimal health and health outcomes, patient care must depend on more than treatment plans and prescriptions — that’s why organizations like AHIP and HGS joined forces to explore how health insurers are addressing social determinants of health as a way to reduce the costs of care and improve population health in a recent webinar.
Using data gathered from a survey of Medicaid members spanning both urban areas and rural areas it was clear that almost every member’s health was affected by a social determinant. For example, the survey showed that 91 percent of members required transportation assistance, which not only impacts health directly through the accessibility of medical appointments but also serves as a catalyst for the impact of additional social determinants.
“Think about the situation where transportation is an issue — as a health plan or as a risk-bearing provider group you maybe arranging for Lyft or Uber or working with a transportation company – that’s great – that can get the member into the provider visit, but only if they can make it from their bed to the car. If they need a wheelchair and don’t have access to that, that in and of itself becomes one of those barriers,” shared Mary Jane Konstantin, BSN, MHSA, RN, Senior Vice President and Head of Population Health Management Solutions for HGS during the webinar.
With health insurers beginning to include coverage for common social determinants of health and expand medical care to include telehealth capabilities, it’s clear that accounting for the social determinants of health is an idea that has reached that all important tipping point. The good news is that experts like HGS’s Mary Jane Konstantin, Donna Martin, and Tara Page-Haddock and AHIP are ready and waiting to share their knowledge.
Ready to learn more? You can watch the webinar here.