How to improve screening for social determinants of health – American Medical Association

Posted: October 4, 2019 at 10:41 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

Whats the news:A recently published survey finds that about one in four hospitals and one in six physician practices screen their patients for socialconditions thataffecthealth,such asfoodaccess, housingstability, utilityand transportationneeds,and interpersonal violence.

Results of the cross-sectional survey of 2,300-plus physician practices and nearly 800 hospitalswere published inJAMA Network Open, and they highlight barriers to discovering the factors outside the exam room or hospital wall that can affect health or interfere with patients engagement in their clinical care.

Why it matters for patients and physicians:Unmet social needs have a significant impact on a persons health, affect patients access to care and hinder their ability to adhere to treatment plans.

The AMA recognizes the importanceof addressingsocial conditions thataffecthealth, and a recently announcedcollaboration between the AMA and UnitedHealthcarewill work tostandardizedata collection on SDOH to help address individuals unique needs.

The two organizations are supporting the creation of 23 newICD-10 codesrelated to social determinants. ICD-10 codes are typically used to record diagnosis, symptoms and procedures. Social factors that the new codes would capture include:

We are clear that 80% of what creates health happens outside of the doctors office, therefore it is critical that physicians know and can be responsive to the full context of patientslives to ensure optimal health outcomes,Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, theAMAs chief health equity officer, said in an interview.

Whats next:The AMA has adopted forward-looking policy along several dimensions of healths social determinants to address the implications for tomorrows doctors, payment and healthinformation technology.

In medical education, theAMA supports:

The AMA alsosupports payment reform policy proposalsthatencourage screening for socialservice needsand referral to community support systems.

And the AMA is urgingEHR vendors to adopt SDOH templatesthat arecreated with input fromthe Association, medical specialty societies and others with expertise in socialdeterminantsof health metrics and development.

More here:

How to improve screening for social determinants of health - American Medical Association

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