We believe ignoring social determinants of health is equivalent to treating patients with unwashed hands and wondering why disease keeps spreading (pg. 25 of How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick). Yet, we are very encouraged to see that SDOH are getting a lot more attention in the news media! Awareness is the first step toward change. Check out some of these very recent articles:

From The National Law Review on Dec. 21, 2018

“Public health experts – and your health insurance provider – have long known that the air you breathe, the education you receive, your net worth, and even the music that you listen to are strong indicators of your overall health – and the possibility that you might need expensive medical procedures in the future.”

From Health IT Analytics on Dec. 20, 2018

“Federal agencies could continue to collaborate on ways to coordinate federal health and social programs, prioritizing easier navigation for beneficiaries,” the organizations suggested.

“Targeted partnerships and cross-agency councils, such as the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, can make collaboration on social determinants of health more commonplace.”

From Healthcare Finance News on Dec. 12, 2018

“The findings suggest that certain population health and social determinants programs, such as interventions that improve access to populations for basic resources, including access to healthcare, or improve social connection and emotional health for populations, may not only increase well-being but also result in reduced healthcare spending.”

From PR Newswire on Dec. 6, 2018

“Seeing health alerts as care givers are interacting with a patient can help the care team initiate meaningful conversations about how to address a patient’s social determinants,” said Erin Benson, director, Market Planning, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “That could include someone doing discharge planning having access to the readmission risk score while the patient is still in the hospital or a pharmacist providing a consultation at the counter.”

We’ll keep following the trends, but it looks like organizations of all kinds are catching on. SDOH matter and impact all of us.

Towards #healthyneighborhoods together,

Breanna & Veronica

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