Integrating patient care and social determinants of health (SDoH) — the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age – is vital to improving population health, according to a recent article in Managed Healthcare Executive that uses Humana’s work as an example.
The author spoke with Humana’s Caraline Coats, MHSA, vice president of Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy, and Andrew Renda, MD, MPH, associate vice president of population health.
Humana “has made strides in incorporating SDoH into their population health strategies with their Bold Goal initiative, a unique program to help better care for patients with chronic medical conditions,” the article said. “Humana aims to improve the health of the communities they serve by 20% by 2020. Part of that strategy is considering SDoH factors like food insecurity and social isolation in their population health programs.”
“We understand that food insecurity, social isolation, transportation security, and housing are all directly related to health,” Andrew said. “This program allows us to bring those things into the mainstream of healthcare so we can start treating SDoH for what they are—clinical gaps in care.”
Caraline said healthcare has been too medically focused for too long. “Today, as an industry, we only spend 4% of every healthcare dollar on social health. Everyone knows it’s important to health outcomes, particularly the clinicians. But we needed to find a way to provide the data and resources providers needed so they could treat social health factors too.”
The article said, “After only a few years, Bold Goal is seeing clinical gains. The integration of SDoH information helped to increase the number of self-reported “healthy days” by Medicare Advantage members in Humana communities by 2.7 days. While 2.7 days might not seem like much, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in communities who did not participate in the Bold Goal program saw a decrease of 0.6 healthy days for the year.”
Read the full article here.