Addressing social determinants of health in healthcare

[Medline, December 19, 2019] As healthcare providers, we know that the health of our patients is largely determined by factors outside of our hospitals and clinics, and that social and economic determinants, health behaviors and the physical environment significantly drive healthcare outcomes, utilization and costs. However, it is unclear how healthcare can best address these social determinants of health.

At Allina Health, understanding our patients and the whole context of their lives is key to delivering excellent care and improving health. We recognize that factors such as access to food, housing and transportation have a significant impact on health. We believe that part of providing health care is supporting our patients in addressing their health-related social needs.

As part of this commitment, Allina Health was one of 29 organizations nationwide awarded an Accountable Health Communities cooperative agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The model is based on evidence that shows health care providers play an important role in identifying and supporting patients in addressing their barriers to health.

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