With the current administration of President Joe Biden, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to make health equity a key aspect of value-based care. Studies are increasingly detailing how the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age – what are known as the social determinants of health (SDOH) – have an enormous impact on health outcomes, which we saw play out in COVID-19 cases. In particular, research documents that SDOH inequities are not only directly related to, but are one of the main causes of disparities in health outcomes.
As a result, health providers are increasingly looking at SDOH as comorbidities and are exploring ways to practically integrate SDOH into their care models and recommendations in an attempt to measurably improve patient outcomes.
However, according to The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians, six out of 10 physicians said they do not have the time needed during appointments to adequately address SDOH with patients. Providers need effective resources and support to address SDOH. Tooling built on SDOH factors that dynamically changes with new patient information could make that SDOH conversation with individual patients possible, and the tech’s recommendations can be customized to a particular patient, lightening the burden on providers.